Storms bringing high winds, snow and ice

Weather alert: snow and Storm Caroline heading for Ireland

A yellow snow and ice warning is in place for Friday for Scotland, Northern Ireland, western England and Wales.

Met Office meteorologist John West said: "Storm Caroline is well on its way across northern parts of the UK".

Motorists are being warned of potential disruption, as a band of snow looks set to sweep across Cumbria - with a second warning already issued for the weekend.

"At the moment we have a yellow weather warning in place, but it could be upgraded to amber".

A yellow "be aware" weather warning is in place for the region, which runs from 8am on Thursday until just before midnight.

An North Sea oil rig, off the north-east coast of Scotland, is being partially evacuated over fears extreme waves caused by Caroline could endanger workers.

The organisation's Chief Forecaster said winds will ease as Thursday progresses, but snow showers will become more frequent and heavier.

Hundreds evacuated after massive brush-fire burns through parts of California
The fire also struck some key transmission lines, knocking out power to tens of thousands of customers. By midnight, the fire was estimated to have reached 10,000 acres.

There will be potentially damaging gusts of up to 80mph there, with higher speeds possible across the Northern and Western Isles.

"Longer journey times and cancellations are likely as road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected".

The easterly winds often freeze Britain for a week or more, with ice and snow flurries plus more widespread snow dumps when moist Atlantic fronts hit the cold air.

It is expected that there will be between two and five centimetres of snow fairly widely, with up to10 to 20 centimetres possible in some areas of Mid Wales and Shropshire.

Gritters and patrols will also be deployed across the trunk road network with up to 8in (20cm) of snow and blizzard conditions forecast for higher routes on Friday and Saturday.

Later this week, snow and falling temperatures are forecast for parts of Britain.

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