View Full Version : Britain colder than Moscow as Arctic snap brings snow as far south as Kent

11-22-2008, 07:48 PM
Parts of Britain will be colder than Moscow this weekend with up to four inches of snow in the east and areas as far south as Kent expected to receive a dusting.

Forecasters have issued a string of severe weather warnings covering the entire eastern half of the country. There were warnings that night time temperatures could fall as low as -5C (23F) in some rural areas from Scotland to East Anglia as an icy blast moved in from the Arctic.

That placed parts of Britain on a footing with the Russian capital where -3C (27F) was forecast, and several degrees colder than Oslo, Norway, where a low of -1C (30F) was expected.

The forecast threatens transport chaos and forces millions of elderly people to turn up the thermostat despite higher heating costs. "It is possible that East Anglia could see frequent heavy snow showers and that could, in the worst case scenario, lead to depths of 10cm (3.9 inches)," said forecaster Barry Grommet.

Temperatures are expected to warm up as the weekend progresses but Sunday could still see areas as far south as Kent receive some snow. Winds up to 30mph will make it feel much colder in some areas.

Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, expressed fears that because of the sharp rises in gas and electricity prices earlier in the year many elderly people would be forced to chose between turning up the heat and buying food.

"Fear of increased winter bills is causing more than half of older people to cut back on essentials, such as food and energy, which could put their health at risk," he said. "We would advise any older person worried about making ends meet to find out if they are entitled to claim benefits, as this could help take the worry out of meeting their bills.

Even when the worst of the snow passes the Met Office warned that freezing rain could bring black ice to the roads by Sunday. The first of the wintry weather arrived in Scotland on Friday receiving a mixed reaction.