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With temperatures hovering near zero, there was snowfall across the north of England, the Midlands and the North-east after freezing air swept in from the west.
High winds and heavy rain are expected in the days ahead as warmer air takes over.
The National Highways agency had issued a “severe weather event” alert for snow and ice.
The Met Office has also put out three yellow weather warnings for snow and ice for today – the least severe of alerts – but it expects that temperatures will start to rise at the weekend. A spokesman said: “Sleet, hail and snow showers may lead to some disruption to travel on Friday morning.
“Frequent wintry showers arriving from the west during Thursday evening and overnight are likely to lead to a fresh covering of snow for areas as high as 200 metres above sea level.
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“Falling snow below this level may cause some temporary slushy accumulations which then may freeze and cause dangerous, icy patches.
“There is also a risk of lightning strikes from isolated thunderstorms in some coastal districts.”
Torrential rain and strong gales are expected to arrive tomorrow before a brief sunny interlude on Sunday, followed by a wet, windy and warmer week without snow.
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