Will it snow in Yorkshire on the last weekend before Christmas?

Viewer picture of Sheffield in the snow. Credit - Leah Grayson
Sheffield has already seen snow in the cold snap. Credit: Leah Grayson

This past fortnight's icy grip on the UK is coming to a close this weekend – but not without a possible sting in the tail for some parts of the region. 

It's been one of the longest cold spells at the start of December for a decade. Some of our regional Met Office weather sites have recorded their coldest day since 2010, including Sheffield, Pateley Bridge and Leeming. 

With freezing temperatures day and night for over a week the cold air is now entrenched across the UK.

The transition from very cold to mild conditions is always a tricky one. This weekend is no exception. Warmer, wetter and windier weather moving in on Sunday means snow, freezing rain and strong winds dominate the weather forecast for the first half of the day.

The Met Office has issued a warning for snow and ice on Sunday Credit: Met Office

When could we see snow?

Forecasters say the risk of snow in Yorkshire is largest on Sunday morning.

The yellow weather warning comes into effect from 3am and lasts until 9pm. The Met Office is predicting that snow earlier in the day will turn to rain later on.

Where could snow fall this weekend?

Sleet and snow showers are due from Friday evening over the Pennines.

It stays cold all through Saturday, with sleet and rain showers for most other areas during the day.  Ice is the main risk, as showers fall onto frozen surfaces.

By Sunday the main area of rain moves in.  Most areas could see snow falling for a time. Again this will be falling on frozen ground and even small slushy amounts could create hazardous conditions along roads and footpaths.

A wintery Winnats pass in Derbyshire. Credit: Paul Rudd

How much snow could we get?

On Sunday morning 5-10cm of snow could fall and settle temporarily over the Dales, the Pennines and potentially the Peak District.

There could be blizzard-like conditions on higher routes with a chance of freezing rain.

In other areas, 0-3cm is expected with the risk fading as more wet and windy conditions move in.

Snow in Maltby, Rotherham, this week. Credit: Philip Needham

What is freezing rain and what are the risks?

Freezing rain is a rare weather phenomenon in the UK and is seen as more dangerous than snow or ice.

Freezing rain often starts as snow, ice, sleet or hail but melts into a liquid water droplet on the way to the ground.

If these droplets fall through air that is below zero degrees they become supercooled and can freeze cold surfaces on impact. This forms a glaze of ice, creating dangerous conditions on roads and pavements.

Will snow and ice continue next week?

There is a brief respite to the icy conditions early next week with highs of 13C on Monday. From Monday onwards, the UK will see temperatures dipping closer to average nearing single figures.

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