Storm Emma is expected to hurtle into freezing Siberian air this afternoon bringing freezing rain, snow and “blizzards” to the British Isles.
The treacherous wintry conditions are expected to cause more chaos for parts of the country after thousands of schools have been closed and trains cancelled amid problems caused by the snow.
The bone-chilling winds are expected to continue battering the UK this afternoon with Met Office weather warnings remaining in place for the majority of Britain.
One red weather warning is in place for southern Wales and southwest England and Brits have been urged to “take action” to avoid being caught up in the extreme weather.
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Speaking on BBC’s Radio 5 Live, weather forecaster Simon King warned the UK was yet to see the “main event” of snow which was expected to hit Britain today and cause more disruption.
He said: “We have got this band of light snow which is moving its way northwards at the moment which is giving many of us a little bit of snow as we speak.
“There will be a bit of respite I think for a time around about the late-morning into lunchtime, that snow will ease off.
“In fact, it is right along the southern coast now that snow is just eased slightly but it is all precursor really to what will be the main event of snow that is going to move in during the afternoon.
“This other red warning from the Met Office which is valid from 3pm (GMT) South Wales this afternoon and in the Cardiff area an in towards Devon and Somerset. Wider around that across mid and south Wales, southwest England, central and southern England, up into the southwest of the Midlands.
“This amber ‘be prepared’ warning because as we go through the afternoon that snow is going to reintensify and we are going to see blizzards, frozen rain and by the end of the night there could be as much as 15cm to 25cm of snow, 40cm to 50cm of snow over the higher ground towards the hills of South Wales and that is why there is that Red and amber warning in that part of the world.”
Mr King also warned of the amber warning in place around Scotland and northern England after a red warning expired at 10am (GMT) on Thursday morning.
He said: “Even when that red warning disappears there is still going to be some disruption well into this afternoon because heavy snow showers