Severe weather warning for London as winter finally bites

A light dusting of snow at the Kings College London sports ground in Brockley Pic: Tom Bateman

A light dusting of snow at the Kings College London sports ground in Brockley Pic: Tom Bateman

London has been given its first weather warning of 2016 as temperatures plummeted over the weekend to below 0C. Saturday and Sunday night saw snow and freezing showers blanket parts of the capital. Londoners are being advised to take extra care because of icy conditions.

Temperatures plunged due to a high-pressure system off the east coast and winds from Scandinavia. It meant that temperatures on Monday failed to rise above 5C and left Londoners feeling the chill.

Dr Angie Bone of Public Health England said: “It’s worth remembering that while most outdoor slips, trips and falls in weather like this are of those who are of working age, accidents can happen to anyone.

“If you’re staying indoors, have plenty of warm food and drinks to stay warm. Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have a long term illness or are aged over 65. Check weather forecasts and plan your day around them.”

The Met Office forecast said that temperatures in Lewisham could drop to as low as -2C overnight on Monday. Forecasters have said that towards the end of the week we should start to see temperatures rising again as rain moves in from the west.

Paul Gundersen, Chief Operational Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “It will turn much colder for all parts of England over the next few days. Spells of sleet and snow at the start of the period will become increasingly confined to the North Sea coast and hills, giving way to cold, crisp days and sharp overnight frosts with a risk of ice. Frosts may also be severe at times, particularly in areas that have had snowfall.”

The weather has been the coldest of the winter so far and is in stark contrast to December, where mild temperatures left many in the capital baffled. It was one of the warmest Decembers on record with temperatures reaching almost 5C above average across London.

Follow Huw Sambrook on Twitter: @huwsambrook

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