BBC Weather Europe: Freezing rain and snow to dominate continent

BBC Weather: Europe set for freezing temperatures and snow

BBC Weather’s Susan Powell warned of cold air across the continent but it will begin to ease by the weekend. The wave of heavy rain and gales set to pound the UK this week has been dubbed “Storm Christoph” by meteorologists, with people warned to brace themselves for a period of very unsettled weather. Some areas of the UK could see up to 200mm of rain over the first half of the week which, coupled with snow melt, poses a serious risk of flooding in eastern parts.

Ms Powell said: “There is a lot of cold air across Europe at the moment. It extends out of Russia and well into Scandinavia and it’s been digging a good way south into northern Turkey.

“Towards the west, you will notice some orange on the map, milder air trying to come in.

“That will accompany these weather systems advancing from the Atlantic through Tuesday and into Wednesday.

“Where the weather systems meet the colder air, some snowfall for the likes of Germany and pushing across towards Poland.

“It’s looking much clearer for Turkey by Tuesday as the system sweeps away to the east.”

She added: “The cold air continues to dominate across many central and eastern areas in the short term.

“It will retreat a little bit further eastwards in our outlook period with Moscow up to 3C by Saturday.”

There is an amber weather warning for Tuesday and Wednesday for central northern England, affecting an area around Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield and stretching down to Peterborough.

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Up to 70mm is expected to fall in that area but in isolated spots, particularly in the northern Peak District and parts of the southern Pennines, 200mm could be possible.

The warning says there is a “danger to life” due to fast-flowing or deep floodwater and a “good chance some communities cut off by flooded roads”.

A yellow rain alert is also in place for most of northern England and Wales from Tuesday to Wednesday, before most of the UK falls into the warning on Thursday.

The Environment Agency has issued 11 local flood warnings covering parts of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire.

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Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Environment Agency teams are out on the ground clearing grilles, screens and closing flood barriers.

“We urge people to keep away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.”

The RAC breakdown service has advised motorists to drive only if absolutely necessary during heavy rain and to avoid floodwater completely.

Ben Aldous, the RAC’s patrol of the year, said: “The best advice if you encounter water on the road is to turn around and find another route, unless you can be certain that it is shallow enough to drive through.

“At best, deep water could ruin a vehicle or land you with a heavy repair bill, at worst it could mean you’re putting your life, and those of the people who might have to come to your aid, in danger.”

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