UK weather: snow forecast for Scotland and northern England

Freezing temperatures and snow will sweep the country at the weekend as Arctic air blasts in

LAST UPDATED AT 15:29 ON Fri 26 Oct 2012

BRITAIN has experienced its first snow of the season and more is on its way with temperatures expected to plunge below freezing over the weekend.

After the UK's warmer-than-average start to October, Northumberland woke this morning to a layer of snow. Now road gritting and snow clearance teams across the country have been put on standby.

Up to 2cm of snow was predicted for the rest of the north east today and a severe weather warning has been issued in Scotland, where forecasters say up to 5cm will fall in the next 24 hours. A freezing blast of Arctic air will push down from the north so that even the south east will see daytime temperatures as low as 2C.

Charlie Powell, a spokesman for the Met Office, told the Daily Mail: "Overnight temperatures could drop as low as -2C with a frosty start to the day tomorrow for many."

The Met Office expects the drastic change in weather to cause problems for travellers, especially where ice forms on untreated roads still wet from earlier showers.

Road gritting teams have already been put on alert: the Gritit company held a training event at Donington Park race track in Leicestershire on Thursday and the Local Government Association (LGA) reported that there is currently about 1.3m tonnes of salt in council depots across England and Wales, ready for use.

Despite the plummeting temperatures, The Daily Telegraph reports that most of Britain will enjoy bright sunshine on Saturday. However, Sunday will bring another change: wet and windy, but less bitingly cold.

Tony Conlan, a forecaster with MeteoGroup told The Independent it will be "warmer on Sunday, but still not very pleasant, with rain just about everywhere".

The Metro warned that a chilly half term is looming, with more snow and sleet expected in the north over the week and below average temperatures expected across the country until the end of November. · 

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