Met Office weather warnings: snow and ice alerts issued across the UK as 'polar vortex' hits

Britain is braced for at least four days of snowfall and freezing conditions as bitterly cold Siberian winds dubbed the ‘polar vortex’ take hold. 

The Met Office has issued dozens of weather warnings for snow and ice across the UK – including in London and south east.

A yellow warning has been issued in the capital from 2pm on Monday and is set to be upgraded to Amber from 2am on Wednesday amid fears of widespread travel disruption.

Flurries of snow fell in London on Monday morning following a bitterly cold weekend which saw the ‘Beast from the East’ hit the UK. 

Some parts of the country are set to feel colder than the Arctic Circle as freezing temperatures continue into the week ahead.

Commuters have been warned to expect disruption to roads and public transport as a snowy blast dubbed “the Beast from the East” hits Britain.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned his followers to “wrap up warm” on Twitter.

He wrote: “Snow [and] icy weather is forecast today. [TfL] and @LondonCouncils have been working all weekend to make sure London is prepared. Don’t forget to wrap up warm…”

Greater Anglia (GA) said it was limiting its services from Monday in anticipation of the snowy blast, with a limited service running on Tuesday.

South Eastern urged passengers to finish their journeys before 6pm on Monday to avoid potential disruption.

Transport for London (TfL) warned passengers to check ahead of their journeys as disruptions were possible on Underground and Overground services due to the low temperatures forecast.

Train operator C2C also warned of limited services, advising trips after 9pm on Monday could be altered or cancelled.

Public Health England issued a fresh health warning advising people to keep indoor temperatures to a minimum of 18C. 

Dr Thomas Waite, of PHE’s Extreme Events team, said: “Cold temperatures, indoors or out, pose real health risks to many and every winter we know thousands of people get ill and even die following exposure to cold.” 

Met Office meteorologist Charlie Powell said: “The UK is on track for some really cold weather this week. 

“We don’t want to scare people, but they should make sure they are prepared for some seriously cold weather.”

“It’s not going to be record-breaking, but it’ll be pretty exceptional – winds are going to make it feel minus 10C (14F) to minus 15C (5F) during the day.

“Winds are then going to strengthen and we could see some easterly gales through the eastern Channel and east Anglia by the middle of the week.

“That’s going to make it feel really cold, daytime temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday will be struggling to get above freezing for most of the country.

“By Thursday evening, there are growing signs there could be some significant snowfall across southern England.

“Unusually for Britain, the snow is going to be quite dry, so it will blow around and gather in drifts and we could see some blizzard conditions.”

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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