As a yellow weather warning for ice remains in place for much of Devon this evening, the Met Office has forecast “heavy” snow in parts of Dartmoor.
As well as icy conditions along the south coast between 6pm on Wednesday and 11am on New Year’s Eve, 2-3cm of snow could fall, mainly over hills, forecasters predict.
Exeter-based Met Office predicts light snowfall in Princetown from around 1pm tomorrow, on December 31. The snow is likely to become heavy from around 4pm.
Princetown, and Dartmoor in general, often sees the worst of the weather conditions due to the altitude.
The Met Office’s weather warning for ice, which comes into effect at 6pm tonight, and will remain in place until 11am tomorrow morning.
The snowy forecast for hills and areas of high ground in Devon comes as there were small bouts of sleet and snow across the moors today.
Overnight, the Met Office says there will be widespread frost, “freezing fog” and icy stretches, with temperatures dropping to minus three degrees Celsius in places.
Temperatures are predicted to drop to lows of minus one degree Celsius in Princetown and other areas of Dartmoor tomorrow, so don’t forget to wrap up warm if you’re heading out in the snow.
Forecasters are predicting further disruption to travel, with a warning of rapidly freezing surfaces on Wednesday evening, covering coastal areas all across Devon.
Met Office chief meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “An Atlantic frontal system looks likely to bring a mixture of rain, sleet and snow to parts of southern England and South Wales on Wednesday, but the extent of any snow is very uncertain.
“There is then a risk of further snow moving south across Scotland, northern England and the Midlands on Thursday.”
Although the AA said regional restrictions imposed due to Covid-19 meant roads were quieter than normal, bitterly cold conditions are forecast to continue throughout Thursday and into the new year.
And, with the cold temperatures moving in, Exeter City Council will be making extra emergency accommodation available to rough sleepers over the coming days as temperatures are set to dip below freezing.
The City Council stressed that nobody needs to be sleeping outside and has activated its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) in light of the worsening forecast for tonight (Wednesday) and the next four nights.
South West England weather forecast
This Evening and Tonight:
Rain, with a little hill snow possible, will clear eastwards through the evening. Some showers to follow in the west, otherwise most areas becoming dry overnight with some clear skies. Widespread frost, freezing fog and icy stretches likely to develop. Minimum temperature -3 °C.
Showers in the west continue through New Year’s Eve, spreading to other areas for a time later. Some sunny spells. Risk of heavier showers far west by the evening. Cold. Maximum temperature 7 °C.
Outlook for Friday to Sunday:
Rather cloudy on New Year’s Day with patchy rain or sleet. Sunshine and coastal showers through the weekend with a risk of overnight frost and freezing fog patches developing.