United Kingdom

Lockdown treat as families frolic in the snow

Police forces across the country have been slammed for threatening snowball fighters with £200 fines as an Arctic ice blast brought six inches of the white stuff to the UK today. 

Forces in Wiltshire and Surrey sent out warnings urging families not to break lockdown when frolicking in the snow, saying 'Covid regulations still apply' and social distancing must be maintained.

Their warnings will be especially disheartening for Britons keen to venture out into a snow-covered wonderland for a second day running as a further three inches of snow is set to fall overnight. 

The Met Office said the mercury could dip between minus 4C (24.8F) and minus 6C (21.2F) going into Monday - with parts of the Midlands told to brace for minus 10C (14F). 

An amber weather warning for snow is in place covering an area from Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent, meaning travel disruption and power cuts are likely.

 In a bid to deter any potential lockdown rule breakers, Surrey Police tweeted: 'We are currently receiving lots of calls and reports relating to snowballs being thrown and people outside sledging.

'Enjoy the snow today but please don't involve other people, particularly more vulnerable residents. Please stay safe and remember that covid regulations do still apply.' 

Wiltshire Police inspector Louis McCoy wrote: 'I don't want to be dealing with sledgers and snowball fights. There's still a lockdown on. Think about it, don't be tempted.' 

Kingston Police in west London urged revellers to enjoy the snow 'from the comfort of your own home' as 'there's a pandemic going on'.

Police in the London borough of Merton comically added: 'Sorry to be "that grumpy relative" but with the snow coming down the way it is, please drive carefully. 

'And if you’re going to have a snowball fight, please stick to your bubbles. Also do not eat yellow snow.'

But their warnings did not dishearten revellers who took full advantage of the snowy weather today, flocking to frolic and build snowmen, with a snowball fight even breaking out outside Buckingham Palace.  

People play in the snow on Primrose Hill in London as the capital experiences a rare covering of snow on Sunday

Pictured: a man using a skateboard board snowboards with his dog down Primrose Hill as Londoners enjoy the snow

People go sledging in the snow on Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath as the capital sees its first bout of snow this winter

People have a snowball fight in front of Buckingham Palace during snowfall in London this morning as they enjoy the snow

By mid-morning on Sunday, the flakes were falling thick and fast in London and elsewhere, with the Met Office saying that up to six inches could fall by the end of the day.

 And tomorrow will only get worse, with parts of the Midlands potentially recording 15cm (6in) of snowfall by the end of the day, with the snow expected to remain on the ground well into next week.

Meteorologist Simon Partridge said: 'The band of snow that came through overnight stalled over the Midlands and will then track its way back over south-east England.'

He added: 'Our main focus is that it is going to be a really cold night, particularly across central and southern parts of the UK - so the whole of Northern Ireland, all of Wales, most of the southern half of England from the Midlands and southwards.'

Mr Partridge added: 'Temperatures are expected to dip to between minus 4C (24.8F) and minus 6C (21.2F) quite widely tonight and where we get that snow lying in parts of the Midlands we could see one or two places where temperatures are as low as minus 10C (14F).'

Even in areas with lighter snowfall, a widespread frost is forecast, and conditions are expected to be hazardous including spots of ice on the roads.  

However, it wasn't all fun and games, with several road accidents being reported amid the adverse weather.

One video shot on Hatter's Lane in High Wycombe showed a black Mercedes knocking a parked car off the road  as it appeared to slide into the path of another vehicle before careering into a second and third parked car.

Seconds before the collision on the snowy street, people can be heard saying that they'd decided to wait and see if the weather improved before risking the snow downhill road. 

The Mercedes then appears to continue down the street, despite the trail of destruction.

Residents in Hampshire got a shock when they were awoken by a 'thundersnow' strike. 

According to the Met Office 'when thunderstorms form in wintry conditions, they can sometimes give rise to heavy downpours of snow which are often called 'thundersnow'.

'Thundersnow is unusual only because it can only occur in a few months of the year.'

Reacting to the strike, one person near Portsmouth posted: 'So this just woke up the whole village with a jump. Anyone else?' 

Another said: 'Man alive! That sure woke me up.'

A third wrote: 'Woken up by thundersnow?. It takes a lot to wake me but was that loud.'

Though the strike wasn't heard in other places in the UK, photos showed the snow spreading across the country, with even the capital getting a dusting.  

A snowy Stonehenge in Wiltshire after Britons across woke up to heavy snowfall with an Arctic blast battering the country

Parts of the capital saw heavier snow than other areas in the city as the country saw icy conditions caused by arctic air

Snow on the roofs of houses in, Bristol, where snow fell overnight. Conditions are set to become more hazardous going into the final week of January

Martin Bowles, meteorologist at the Met Office, said: 'The biggest hazard over the next couple of days is going to be ice because we're getting these snow showers which will all freeze overnight'

Ruff weather! A husky looks out the windscreen from a van in Camberley, January 24, as snow covers parts of Britain

Pictured: A herd of deer walks through the snow in Windsor after the country saw heavy snow this morning

By mid-morning on Sunday, the flakes were falling thick and fast in London and elsewhere, with the Met Office saying up to six inches could fall by the end of the day. Pictured: People seen crossing the Westminster Bridge during snowfall on January 24

London saw a heavy flurry of snow this morning. Pictured: A cyclist crosses a snow covered road in west London earlier today

A man and two children enjoying sledging in the snow on Hampstead Heath in the borough of Camden this morning

A man attempts to 'surf' down Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath after the capital saw heavy snow fall this morning

White wedding? A man seems to pop the question to his partner in a winter wonderland at Shepton Mallet's Collett Park

A snow-covered London bus as the capital was battered by thick flakes of frost this morning, a scene repeated across the country

The weather caused the closure of four vaccination centres in South Wales, which Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said were shuttered for 'safety reasons'.

Sky News reported that the board said those with appointments at the centres in Bridgend, the Rhondda, Abercynon and Merthyr Tydfil had been contacted to bring their time forward or reschedule their jab.

Meanwhile, an FA Women's Super League football match between Chelsea and Bristol City was cancelled after the latter said their pitch was 'unplayable'. 

An aerial shot shows snowfall in London on Sunday as the capital was dusted in snow along with other parts of the country

Southeast London got a thin blanket of snow which dusted rooftops and pavements on Sunday morning and onwards

Walkers enjoy the snow on Hampstead Heath on Sunday as Londoners awoke to a generous dusting of snow

People walk through the Narnia-like Highgate Wood in London on Sunday amid snowfall across some parts of the UK

Mick Daffern decided to dress for warmer weather as he skied through the streets of snowy Wolverhampton on Sunday

Heavy snow and ice also led to a crop of crashes on the roads this morning, including a gritter lorry that overturned near the village of Holne on Dartmoor in Devon and blocked the road. 

Another lorry jack-knifed in an accident in Norfolk. The vehicle skidded out of control and ended up sideways across the A148 at Hillington, near King's Lynn. Luckily, it didn't hit any other traffic and the driver escaped shaken but unhurt.

Two people had to be cut out of their car with hydraulic rescue equipment by firefighters in Kent. Their vehicle collided with a tree in the early hours of Sunday amid wintry conditions, leaving the driver and their injured passenger trapped in the freezing cold, police said. 

Meanwhile in Leicester, police said a five-car accident had closed part of the M1 at junction 22. 

Highways England warned that the snow had caused collisions on the M3, M27 and M25. The agency urged drivers to only travel if absolutely necessary.

The public were warned to expect some icy patches on untreated roads and pavements, with journeys by road and rail likely to be affected. A similar warning is in place along the east coast of Scotland and covering most of the island of Ireland. 

The showers of sleet and snow are expected to die down, with a heavy frost due to set in across most parts of the country on Sunday evening. The wintry showers will continue in north and western parts of the UK. 

The Met Office said disruptions caused by snow were likely to continue throughout Sunday. It said in a Twitter post: 'Outbreaks of snow will continue over parts of north Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia and south-east England with some further significant accumulations causing disruption.

Despite government pleas to stay indoors, crowds of people flocked to the capital's parks to take advantage of the snow

As several parts of the country experienced heavy snowfall, including London, people jumped at the chance to get their sledges out. Pictured: Two young girls enjoy sledging through snow on Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath this afternoon

Pictured: A giant snowball shaped as a coronavirus is seen on Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath this afternoon

A man falls off a sledge in Campbell Park, Milton Keynes, on January 24 following widespread snow in Britain

A woman enjoys a snowball fight in the snow in Trafalgar Square, in central London, on January 24

A family enjoy time out in the snow together on Primrose Hill, north London, on January 24, amid snowfall across Britain 

A herd of deer walks through the snow in Windsor, January 24. The showers of sleet and snow are expected to die out, with a heavy frost due to set in across most parts of the country on Sunday evening. The wintry showers will continue in north and western parts of the UK

A spectacular snow smash this morning as a gritter trying to keep the roads safe overturned near the village of Holne on Dartmoor in Devon

People walk through Green Park during snowfall in London, January 24. Highways England warned that the snow had caused collisions on the M3, M27 and M25. The agency urged drivers to only travel if absolutely necessary

Conditions are set to become more hazardous going into the final week of January as the Met Office gets ready to put in place five new weather warnings for snow and ice

A snowman wearing a pale blue face mask is seen on Wimbledon Common, London, on January 24 after Storm Christoph 

Two snowmen are seen at Pinkneys Green in Maidenhead, Berkshire, on January 24 amid snowfall across the country 

Snow in Grayswood, Surrey with cars covered. The scene was repeated all over Britain as an Arctic blast battered the nation

Residents are caught in a snow blizzard on Wimbledon common creating a winter wonderland scene in the capital this morning

Forecasters previously said blizzard conditions would hit many areas as a blast of Arctic air swept in, sparking fresh misery for communities ravaged by Storm Christoph

Gold Hill at Shaftesbury in Dorset is covered in snow at dawn after a heavy wintry shower overnight. Snow blanketed vast swathes of Britain this morning

Children sledge down Gold Hill, in Shaftesbury, Dorset. Conditions are set to become more hazardous going into the final week of January

Snow blankets the woodlands on a cold morning in the countryside at Clayfield Copse, Berkshire, a sight repeated across the UK

People sledging on Gold Hill, in Shaftesbury, Dorset. Britons enjoy the snow as it covers the nation this morning

Conditions are set to become more hazardous this week. Pictured: A car spins out near Mountsorrel in Leceistershire

Snowy conditions on the A46 near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. Conditions are set to become more hazardous going into the final week of January as the Met Office gets ready to put in place five new weather warnings for snow and ice

Snow-topped houses in the Cotswolds this morning as snow continues to fall across the UK following last week's Storm Christoph

A view of a garden as the occupant wakes up to a fall of snow in South East Wales this morning with vast swathes across the UK

People enjoy the snow in Bristol this morning after Britons all over the country woke up to vast swathes of frost on Sunday

A driver tries to clear a thick layer of snow that settled on their car after a flurry this morning in Cirencester, Gloucestershire

People sledging on Gold Hill, in Shaftesbury, Dorset this morning as they tried to get the most of the widespread snow fall

Snow on the roofs of houses in, Bristol, where snow fell overnight. This scene was repeated across the country this morning

The statue of Winston Churchill is seen, as snow falls in London this morning. Warnings are in place with forecasters telling the public to mind icy roads

Heavy snow and ice led to a crop of crashes this morning, including a lorry which jack-knifed in a spectacular accident in Norfolk

People walking in the snow in Battersea Park, London. By mid-morning on Sunday, the flakes were falling thick and fast in the capital and elsewhere, with meteorologists warning drivers to take care on icy roads

People go sledging in the snow on Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath this morning. Parts of the country saw snow and icy conditions as arctic air caused temperatures to drop

Snow covers parked cars and roads in west London this morning. The Met Office issued ice warnings across the country

Snow surrounds a farm in Little Hayfield in the Peak District National Park, in Derbyshire this morning

Cyclists make their way through Richmond Park this morning during a heavy snowfall. Snow has caused much chaos across the country today

People walk as snow falls in Wandsworth Common, in London, January 24, following snowfall across the country 

'Wintry showers will also affect western parts with local temporary accumulations and a risk of ice.'

This morning's travel chaos comes after the effects of a storm last week continued to cause havoc yesterday. 

Temporary barriers along the River Severn in Worcestershire were breached, with residents describing the surging floodwaters as a 'tidal wave'.

Defences at the riverside town of Bewdley failed, leaving homes and businesses under water and residents devastated.

Irene Buxton, 70, who lives near the defences, said she was woken by a 'crash' as the barriers collapsed on Friday night.

'I looked out of the window and it was like a tidal wave going towards the town,' she said.

'The water is in my hall and in my kitchen and we're just battling to keep it out of the living room.'

Hereford and Worcester rescue teams were out in force, rescuing a man and his two dogs from Bewdley's floodwaters, which were expected to peak at 5.53m, just shy of the November 2000 record of 5.56m. 

Further warnings were issued along a stretch of the Severn, including Ironbridge in Shropshire and Stourport-on-Severn in Worcestershire, which saw severe flooding during Storm Dennis last year.

The Met Office said disruptions caused by snow were likely to continue throughout Sunday. Pictured woman building a snow man in London

People making a snowman in Battersea Park, London. Conditions are set to become more hazardous going into the final week of January

Amanda Richardson and her daughter Delilah,9, play in the snow on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle, Berskhire

A woman rolls a snow ball with her dog in Stoke Newington, Hackney, as snow falls in London throughout Sunday

A snowy road in Kew, southwest London, after swathes of the UK woke up to snow and ice this morning, with even the capital getting a dusting of white

A car on the side of the A417 near Cirencester that has spun off the road and crashed in the snow

Friends play in the snow just above flood water in Worcester with the Met Office warning that the snowy weather is set to continue for the day

A police car drives through heavy snow in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. Conditions are set to become more hazardous going into the final week of January as the Met Office gets ready to put in place five new weather warnings for snow and ice

The hashtag 'Narnia' was also trending on social media as people shared images of their snowy neighbourhoods

A woman pushes a pram in the snow on Wimbledon Common. The common appeared busy despite the snow and coronavirus restrictions

Residents are caught in a snow blizzard on Wimbledon common as they walked dogs and took in their daily exercise 

Winston, an 8 month old Border Terrier, enjoys the snow for the first time near Windsor, Berkshire, a scene repeated across the country

Heavy snow falling in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. The heavy snow fell all over the country with Britons taking to social media to share photos

A gritter lorry on the A628 near Woodhead in South Yorkshire. Warnings are in place across vast swathes of the country following the snow

A gritting lorry in snowy conditions in Touchen-End, Berkshire. The Met Office put a yellow weather warning in place stretching from coast to coast in southern England and ending just below Manchester

Snow in the Cotswolds this morning. Forecasters said -7C blizzard conditions would hit many areas as a blast of Arctic air swept towards Britain

Many Britons will wake up to snow this morning, with the Met Office expecting low temperatures and frost across the country

Cars on a snowy A350 road near Hindon in Wiltshire. Conditions are set to become more hazardous going into the final week of January

Cars stuck in the snow on the A303 near to Cricklade in north Wiltshire in the early hours of Sunday morning with snow warnings in place across the country

Police at a snowy Stonehenge in Wiltshire. The showers of sleet and snow are expected to die out, with a heavy frost due to set in across most parts of the country on Sunday evening

A woman walking her dog, stops to take a photograph in a park as snow falls in west London this morning

People play in the snow on Primrose Hill in London this morning, as the capital experiences a rare covering of snow on Sunda

The showers of sleet and snow are expected to die out, with a heavy frost due across most parts of the country on Sunday evening

People enjoy the snow in Guildford, Surrey. The wintry showers will continue in north and western parts of the UK

Environment Secretary George Eustice warned of more 'challenges' in parts of England ahead of the predicted snowfall.

The Met Office said a band of rain will cross the South West of England and turn to snow as it moves eastwards. Up to 2in of snow could settle, but areas above 300ft could see as much as 10in.

Temperatures across the whole of the UK dropped below freezing last night, with the coldest temperatures in the Scottish Highlands at an icy -10C.

Elsewhere, London and Manchester got down to -3C overnight and Bristol, Belfast and Glasgow dropped to -2C.

Frosts are expected overnight on Monday and Tuesday.

Martin Bowles, meteorologist at the Met Office, said: 'The biggest hazard over the next couple of days is going to be ice because we're getting these snow showers which will all freeze overnight.

The Met Office said a band of rain will cross the South West of England and turn to snow as it moves eastwards. Up to 2in of snow could settle, but areas above 300ft could see as much as 10in

People pose for photographs by a snowman on the grounds of a snowy Guildford Castle in Surrey

The Met Office put a yellow weather warning in place stretching from coast to coast in southern England and ending just below Manchester

Swathes of the UK woke up to snow and ice on Sunday morning, with even London getting a dusting of white

People go snowboarding in the snow on Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath after the snow also reached London today

People go sledging in the snow on Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath today with Britons across the country rushing to enjoy the snow

Snowy conditions on the A46 near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. Britons across the country woke up to a blanket of snow today

Temperatures across the whole of the UK dropped below freezing last night, with the coldest temperatures in the Scottish Highlands at an icy -10C

The public were warned to expect some icy patches on untreated roads and pavements, with journeys by road and rail likely to be affected

Temperatures were expected to plummet to -7C in parts of northern England and -10C in Scotland

Dog walkers on a snowy Gold Hill, in Shaftesbury, Dorset. Conditions are set to become more hazardous going into the final week of January

Snow is seen falling inside the stadium prior to The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Chelsea and Luton Town at Stamford Bridge

Two people walk on Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath this morning.  Parts of the country saw snow and icy conditions as arctic air caused temperatures to drop

A jogger taking his daily exercise, crosses Regent Street in London in the snow this morning with the capital seeing thick flakes

Pedestrians walk along Regent Street as snow falls in London. The capital is one of several places that saw heavy snow today

In Edinburgh, Scotland, students from Edinburgh University appear to have forgotten it is winter and 1 degree centigrade

Meanwhile, in Tynemouth, dozens of people have flocked to Longsands beach this afternoon to enjoy the sunshine

Despite government pleas for people to stay home indoors, crowds were seen flocking to Longsands beach in Tynemouth

'Obviously roads tend to be quite well gritted, especially main roads, but I would warn people to be careful on pavements, minor roads that don't get gritted or city roads,' Met Office meteorologist Martin Bowles said.

The Met Office's first warning for snow and ice is already in place in north-west England, but four more will be in place by tomorrow morning.

Areas being placed under warnings are Northern Ireland, south-west England and South Wales, the Midlands, and south-east England.

Mr Bowles said the cold spell would continue until about Wednesday before being replaced with milder temperatures in the final days of the month.

'That's not to say that that's the end of all cold weather for winter, it isn't, we've just got a mild spell coming up,' he said.

Despite people being urged to heed flood warnings into the weekend, Mr Bowles said they were 'gradually reducing' and that more heavy rain was not expected until Wednesday night or Thursday.

'We're hopeful that the river levels will fall quite significantly before that so we're not expecting any significant flooding problems over the next few days, apart from in areas where the warnings are already in place,' he said.

The Environment Agency previously warned of 'exceptionally high river levels' following days of heavy rainfall in the wake of Storm Christoph, with hundreds of properties across the country flooded.

Two small children enjoy a spot of sledging in Northampton, England as snow and icy conditions hit the UK on Sunday

Children pose next to their impressive snowmen at a park in Northampton, England on Sunday as parts of the UK were blanketed in snow

Baby's first snow?: A man pulls a young child along on a sledge as Britons got out to make the most of the snowy weather

A man skis through the snow at a park in Northampton, England on Sunday as parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland got a dusting of snow 

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