Severe weather warnings ahead of heavy snowfall tonight

Offaly included in fresh snow and ice warning from Met Éireann

Around 18,000 homes across Scotland were affected by power cuts due to the weather, according to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, with power returned to the majority of affected homes by Friday evening.

"Two to five centimetres of snow is likely in places over the warning area".

"A band of rain, heavy at times, is expected to move eastwards over the UK".

Strong winds pose the risk of blizzard conditions across northern Scotland on Saturday, where thousands of homes were left without power on Friday.

Parts of the United Kingdom can expect one to two inches of snow but northern Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and the northwest Midlands could get eight inches.

"Yellow" and "amber" warnings are in place for snow, ice and wind, while temperatures will plunge to -6C in parts of Scotland and Wales.

"Throughout the warning area there has been snow accumulations, but it's not just in Scotland, we've also had quite a bit of snow in Northern Ireland down in the Liverpool Bay area and we've also had quite a few snow showers across Wales".

Transport disruption is possible with delays to road, rail and air travel delays, with the potential for vehicles to become stranded or public transport to be cancelled.

A spokesman added: "There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off".

A snow plough in Flintshire, Wales, today as forecasters put out snow warnings covering Scotland and Cornwall An icy road in Foolow.

In the meantime, widespread snowfall is expected to cause transport chaos during rush hour today and throughout the weekend. Further south it's likely to be rain, at least to start.

South Yorkshire motorists are being asked to check road conditions before they travel, as Highways England issues a "severe weather alert" ahead of heavy snowfall in the region tomorrow.

A total of 14cm (6in) of snow was recorded in Inverness-shire, while 12cm (4.7in) was recorded in Aviemore.

Meanwhile, council gritting teams are on standby to cover roads across the country as temperatures plummet for a second night.

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