White sands of Northumberland
IT was less a case of footprints in the sand than footprints in the snow on this beach yesterday as winter made a bitter return across much of northern England.
It came as forecasters warned that overnight blizzards could leave rural areas cut off this morning, and icy conditions could cause commuter chaos on what was expected to be the coldest night of the year.
A series of weather warnings have been issued for the next three days in the wake of the exceptionally cold conditions.
The prolonged spell of wintry weather is being caused by a series of atmospheric events last seen in Britain before the Beast from the East in 2018.
Households up and down the eastern side of the country woke up to a covering of snow yesterday, from Northumberland to as far south as the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire. The Met Office has issued a warning of snow and ice across southern England, South Wales and the southern Midlands, lasting into tomorrow.
Temperatures of -15C (5F) were expected in Scottish glens last night, with lows of -8C (17.6F) forecast for England and Wales. The Met warned of ‘travel delays’, while power cuts may occur and ‘some rural communities could become temporarily cut off’.
Two of the UK’s coal-fired power stations have started supplying electricity to homes for the first time this winter. Strikes in France reduced the power supplied from across the Channel, leading EDF to order the plants in West Burton, Lincolnshire, to be fired up.