Storm Darcy has brought a foot of snow and bitter temperatures plunging to -10C as the Beast from the East batters Kent with 50mph winds – threatening travel chaos and power cuts until Wednesday.
The Met Office has warned of ‘significant disruptive snowfall’ in London and the South East, especially parts of East Anglia and Kent, as the ‘Beast from the East 2’ coats southern parts of England in snow and temperatures of -10C.
Yellow and amber alerts for snow and ice for parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent will remain in place until Wednesday night with warnings of up to a foot of snow.
Yesterday Aboyne in Aberdeenshire saw 22cm of lying snow, while Manston in East Kent had 17cm.
There are also fears of power cuts across the country in the coming days, after Edinburgh residents reporting outages on Sunday evening. SP Energy Networks said it was aware of a power cut in Edinburgh and the Lothians and that engineers were working to restore supplies.
A Met Office warning added: ‘Accumulations of snow will be widely four inches with eight inches in places and a small chance of 12 inches for a few sites.
‘Very strong easterly winds with gusts of 40-45mph inland and 50-55mph along north-east facing coasts will also lead to drifting of lying snow. During Monday morning the snow will turn more intermittent before gradually easing.’
Warnings in place until midday today state: ‘There is a good chance that roads may become blocked by deep snow, with many stranded vehicles and passengers likely.
‘Long interruptions to power supplies and other services, such as gas, water, telephone and mobile phone coverage likely.’
There will be further snow across South East England tonight, while snow showers are forecast to continue in the North East – with very cold gales and snow showers expected in the East and North East on Monday.
Storm Darcy has brought heavy snow to Kent overnight, with an amber warning weather until midday stating some roads could be blocked by deep snow. Police were seen assisting a lorry in Maidstone this morning
Bermondsey in South East London has seen snow settle overnight – as Storm Darcy saw 22cm of the white stuff settle in Aberdeenshire on Sunday
Police have closed off part of a road in Kent this morning as they deal with a broken down lorry struggling with the elements
Vehicles travelling down Detling Hill braved snowy conditions on Monday morning – with more snow set to fall today
Snow has blanketed snow in Detling, near Maidstone, Kent overnight. Elsewhere in the county, 17cm settled in Manston yesterday
Southeastern Rail strongly advised passengers not to attempt to travel on its network today after announcing that the Maidstone East line will be closed due to the ‘severity of the forecast’.
The vaccine centre at Clacton Hospital shut early on Sunday while Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust tweeted that its jab centre at Jobserve Community Stadium in Colchester closed from 1.30pm due to snow. A site at the Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich closed at 1pm, the trust added, while five Covid-19 vaccination centres run by Suffolk GP Federation also closed early.
Meteorologist Sarah Kent said: ‘There will be significant disruptive snowfall across the South East. There is a small chance particularly over the Downs of Kent and the North Downs that you could see 25-30cm of snow.
‘It is a small chance but the threat is there, up to a foot of snow potentially combined with extremely strong easterly winds. Even inland in that area, gusting could be 45mph and higher than that on the coasts.
‘This could lead to significant drifting of any lying snow and obviously blizzards for the snow coming past you for anyone who is attempting to travel.’
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: ‘The UK is in for a notably cold and snowy period over the next week, with very cold air in place over the whole of the UK by Sunday.
Weather warnings are in place for snow and ice until Wednesday – with the most serious alerts for this morning. Yesterday saw 22cm of snow settle in Aberdeenshire, with 17cm in Manston, Kent
There are also fears of power cuts across the country in the coming days, after Edinburgh residents reporting outages on Sunday evening. Pictured: Bermondsey this morning
Rotherhithe in south east London saw a snow settle overnight along with eastern parts of England as well as Scotland
Southeastern Rail strongly advised passengers not to attempt to travel on its network today as it closed one of its Kent lines. Workers are making the streets safe for commuters in Bermondsey today
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: ‘The UK is in for a notably cold and snowy period over the next week,’ as seen in Bermondsey today
Amber warnings are in place across the East until midday today, while lesser yellow warnings will remain until Wednesday night
Early risers braved the snowy streets of south-east London today as the Beast from the East is set to last until Wednesday
Following flurries overnight, including in Detling, Kent, the Met Office has forecast the snow will turn more intermittent this morning before gradually easing
Meteorologist Sarah Kent warned yesterday: ‘There will be significant disruptive snowfall across the South East.’ Pictured: Bermondsey today
ESSEX: Cars have crashed on the A12 near Chelmsford as Storm Darcy lashed the South East of England
Edinburgh residents have described how the city was plunged into a ‘blackout’ following a power outage on Sunday evening
‘Showers will see snow accumulating across eastern areas. More widespread snow is expected and we could see 5-10 cm of snow quite widely, with a chance that a few places could see 20 cm or more. With such severe weather around it’s important to keep up to date with the latest forecast.’
There will be strong easterly winds during this period which may lead to blizzard conditions and blowing and drifting of lying snow at times.
Daytime temperatures will stay in low single figures for much of the country over coming days, with some places staying below freezing and the bitter winds will make it feel even colder.
Cold Weather Alerts are in place across England, with temperatures across the UK falling as the cold air moves in, widespread overnight frosts and wind chill making daytime temperatures feel freezing.
Yesterday a man who is thought to have been kite-surfing died at a beach amid the stormy weather.
Suffolk Police said the death of the man, who was found by passers-by on the shore at Walberswick beach, is not thought to be suspicious.
Police said it is believed the man, who was in his 50s, had been kite-surfing,
Emergency services were called at 3.20pm on Sunday to reports of concern for a man who was in the sea. The coastguard, East of England Ambulance Service and police attended the scene.
The man received medical help but died at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.
Snow scenes in Nenthead, Cumbria, yesterday as Stormy Darcy ravages the UK with heavy snow and gales in the South East
Dr Owen Landeg, Group Leader, Extreme Events and Health Protection at PHE, said: ‘Cold weather isn’t just uncomfortable it can have a serious impact on health. For older people and those with heart and lung problems it can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.
‘So, it’s really crucial at this time to remember to check on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses.
‘Make a call, or socially-distanced doorstep visit if they live close by, to remind them of some simple but important health tips such as heating their home to at least 18C and to keep up to date with the forecast.
‘It’s also helpful to check they have enough food and drinks and any medicines they need. This will help them to stay warm and stay well.’
The cold air is likely to remain in place through next week, bringing the continued risk of snow showers, particularly in the east.
Last year KNMI – the national weather forecasting service in the Netherlands – joined the Met Office and Met Éireann in the west Europe storm naming group.
Other European countries to name impactful storms include France, Spain and Portugal in South West Europe and Sweden, Norway and Denmark in Northern Europe.