A large area of south Wales may be covered in white before the end of the week as temperatures drop to some of the lowest levels of the winter so far.
Following light snowfall across the higher elevations of Wales on Monday, the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice in south Wales beginning at 10am on Wednesday, December 30 and lasting until 6am on New Year’s Eve.
Forecasters predict cold northerly winds will set the stage for the wintry weather, which threatens to leave a blanket of white across the southern half of the country.
Meanwhile, temperatures will dip as low as -2C in some areas, resulting in icy conditions into Thursday.
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.”
According to the forecast, rain in southwestern Britain is expected to push farther eastward into colder air during the day on Wednesday, providing an opportunity for the precipitation to transition to snow.
While forecasters are not yet sure how much will fall and precisely where, it is estimated that 2cms to 5cms are possible across a large swathe of southern Wales.
Meanwhile, there’s a small chance of 10cms to 15cms settling in a few places, most likely on high ground above 200 metres.
Fifteen of Wales’ 22 local authorities are under the weather warning, including: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan.
As the rain and snow clears on Wednesday night, the Met Office is warning of the risk of widespread ice forming on untreated surfaces.
People should prepare for delays and cancellations to bus and train services, and the possibility for road closures into Thursday. There is a small chance that the wintry conditions could cause motorists and passengers to become stranded.
The weather may also lead to power cuts, and outages to other services, such as mobile phones.
Here’s what the Met Office predicts for the rest of the week in Wales:
This evening, showers return in the west, and the north of the country later in the night. Feeling cold throughout, with icy conditions and wintry hazards possible in some parts. Minimum temperature -1 °C.
Many will see showers through the morning, mainly in the north. This continue throughout the day, affecting western coasts later. Possible snow and wintry showers later in southern areas. Maximum temperature 6 °C.
Thursday to Saturday:
A few wintry showers on Thursday and patchy rain on New Years’ Day. Feeling cold throughout, with icy conditions and wintry hazards possible in some parts. Largely dry on Saturday.