Expect more wintry conditions says Met Office, after three people killed and half a million households left without power
A minus 10C Arctic blast is forecast to follow the blizzards and close to 100mph winds of Storm Arwen which left half a million households temporarily without power at the weekend and killed three people.
A cold weather alert issued by the UK Health Security Agency will remain in place until Monday after swathes of the north of England, Scotland, Wales, the south-west and the Midlands were left without electricity. Gales caused transport disruption and damage to buildings, while heavy snow led to lorries getting stuck and ploughs being used in a number of areas. The Met Office said that as the storm was clearing towards Europe temperatures would drop to the coldest of the season so far.
“Even if you do live in a city, you can expect to be scraping frost, ice or even snow off your cars on Monday morning,” said forecaster Tom Morgan.
Watch: Storm Arwen brings snow to parts of UK
Blizzards in the Yorkshire Dales left dozens of people trapped at the 17th-century Tan Hill Inn for a third night, with staff on Sunday preparing a karaoke evening to keep spirits up. Snow drifted so high that a tunnel had to be cut from the front door, but roads are impassable owing to fallen power cables.
“They’ve formed quite a friendship,” said the pub’s general manager Nicola Townsend, 52. “Like a big family is the best way I can describe it. One lady actually said ‘I don’t want to leave.’”
The guests slept on makeshift beds and have been entertained by an Oasis tribute band which had been booked to perform on Friday night. They also had a quiz, watched films shown on a projector and enjoyed a traditional Sunday lunch. The pub is 528m above sea level, the highest in the UK. A mountain rescuer managed to reach the pub to give medical attention to one guest with an ongoing condition.
There were fatalities elsewhere. Over the weekend a headteacher in Northern Ireland died after a tree fell on his car, another man was hit by a falling tree in Cumbria, and a third died after his car was hit in Aberdeenshire.
Rod Gardner, major incident manager at Northern Powergrid, which supplies electricity in the north-east and Yorkshire said the storm caused “damage of a scale and intensity not seen for 15 years”.
“We worked into the night and did everything possible to restore as many supplies as we could. We have a lot of work still to do, but our dedicated teams will not stop until we complete all the work required.”
About 180,000 homes have had power restored, he added.
In the north-east of Scotland, hot food and drinks are being supplied to people who have spent two nights without power.
In Northern Ireland, the Dark Hedges avenue of trees fell victim to the storm, with a beech tree uprooted at Bregagh Road near Armoy. The tourist attraction, made famous by the TV series Game of Thrones, was battered by gale force winds overnight.
Contestants on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! were taken off the set of the TV show at Gwrych Castle, near Abergele in north Wales because of the extreme weather. The weekend’s episodes of the show were cancelled.
Watch: Dogs play in the snow as temperatures drop across the UK