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UK weather: Warnings remain as temperatures set to rise

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Media captionToday’s forecast: Freezing rain and some snow expected

Weather warnings for snow and icy roads remain in place across much of the UK – as temperatures are expected to gradually rise in many areas.

Hundreds of people remain without power, as motorists and rail passengers have been told to expect continued disruption on roads and railways.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has issued 15 flood warnings, mainly in the south-west and north-east England.

It comes as temperatures in many areas are set to rise above zero later.

The Met Office has two active yellow warnings in place for Saturday, covering large areas of the UK.

One, warning of ice, applies to much of south-east England, the Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland and is due to expire at 11:00 GMT.

The second warning – which is expected to be in place all day – is of further snow for much of Scotland.

But BBC weather forecaster Ben Rich said that many people would see a gradual rise in temperatures.

He said: “It will turn slowly – and I do mean slowly – a little less cold. There will be some wintry showers too – these showers coming as a mixture of rain, sleet and snow.

“It will be a bit milder in the south – 7C in Plymouth – but still you will notice a rather chilly feel further north.”

The Environment Agency also has a number of flood alerts and flood warnings in place – meaning immediate action is required.

Eleven flood warnings are in place in Devon, Cornwall and elsewhere on the south coast, while four are in the North East.

They all apply to coastal regions, due to large waves caused by spring tides and strong onshore winds.

In Dawlish, Devon, the coastal rail line briefly reopened after damage caused by Storm Emma, but was closed on Saturday morning after flooding caused by high tides.

Meanwhile, thousands of trains are set to be cancelled in another day of travel disruption, as more than 20 rail operators are running a reduced service.

ScotRail is facing significant issues across its network after Scotland received the heaviest snowfall, and some of the coldest conditions, in the UK.

The West Coast Mainline to England remains closed, and Virgin Trains East Coast is not running any services north of Newcastle.

ScotRail said snow ploughs were tackling drifts as high as 10ft (3m).

There were severe delays to services in Lewisham, south London on Friday night after passengers stuck on four Southeastern trains “forced open” doors.

They left the carriages and started walking along the tracks.

The rail company said police and the fire service assisted in helping to restore power on the tracks and get trains moving again.

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Media captionPiers Hanson walked down the tracks after receiving clearance from police

Major incidents was also declared in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Avon and Somerset, as blizzards brought roads to a standstill.

However, the M62 in Greater Manchester reopened in the early hours of Saturday, having been shut for more than a day due to severe weather conditions.

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Huge snow drifts accumulated by the side of a country road near Bath

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Sub-zero temperatures left the Kennet and Avon Canal frozen

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A gritting lorry clears snow on the A672 near the M62 motorway

In Scotland, where some of the worst conditions have been seen, efforts are continuing to get services up and running.

Gritting and snow clearing on the roads was set to continue over the weekend, while train firm ScotRail said it would operate as many services as it could on Saturday.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said emergency services across the country had given “a superhuman effort over the past few days”.

In England, the Premier League has said all its football matches are expected to go ahead despite the weather. However, a number of games in the Championship and the Scottish Premiership have been postponed.

What is happening with the trains?

Across the UK, more than 20 rail operators are running a reduced service. National Rail has been advising passengers to check their service before travelling. Some train operators urged people not to travel at all.

  • Virgin Trains is not running any services north of Newcastle on Saturday, with their route between Carlisle and Scotland – affecting the London to Glasgow and London to Edinburgh routes – closed with no replacement buses running
  • Arriva Trains Wales has said a limited service will run on Saturday and passengers have been advised only to travel if essential up until Monday morning. There are limited trains between Shrewsbury and Crewe, Crewe and Chester, Chester and Holyhead, Wrexham and Bidston and Swansea and Carmarthen
  • Great Western Railway said there would be a limited timetable with no services between Cheltenham and Paddington, and the North Downs trains have been cancelled
  • Heathrow Express services between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport will run three times an hour
  • East Midlands Trains are running a reduced timetable with no trains between Lincoln Central and Grimsby Town, and between Sleaford and Skegness
  • On the Northern network, there are no services between Leeds and Carlisle/Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester Airport, and Hazel Grove and Buxton. It warns passengers of possible timetable changes throughout Saturday
  • ScotRail aims to have several of its routes operational from early morning on Saturday but advises passengers to check before they travel
  • CrossCountry is not running trains between Birmingham and the South West and, Birmingham and Cardiff until after 09:00 GMT. No services will operate between Newcastle and Scotland and trains between Reading and Southampton/Bournemouth are not expected to run until mid afternoon
  • Southeastern railway said it will run an amended timetable on Saturday and services will start later after track inspections
  • South Western is not running any services between Southampton Central and Weymouth and other lines are running revised timetables, and could be subject to delays or cancellations

How are the airports affected?

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More than 1,250 flights were cancelled across the UK and Ireland on Friday.

  • Glasgow Airport: Open after “the worst snowfall in its history” but still warns of delays and cancellations
  • Edinburgh Airport: Ryanair will resume its full schedule of flights after a day of cancellations on Friday
  • Dublin Airport: Most flights will start later on Saturday but passengers are urged to check before they travel
  • Cardiff Airport: The airport will be closed until Saturday morning
  • Bristol Airport: There were significant disruptions on Friday and passengers are advised to contact their airline before travelling
  • East Midlands Airport: After a day of cancellations and delays, the airport is expected to be fully operational
  • Leeds Bradford: The airport is open but is experiencing delays
  • Heathrow Airport: The airport advises passengers to check before travelling
  • Gatwick Airport: There are delays and cancellations
  • City Airport: The runway was closed on Friday because of the snow and the airline advises passengers that delays and cancellations could be likely
  • Birmingham Airport: Runway unlikely to reopen before Saturday morning with travellers warned to check with their airline

What is the forecast?

The Met Office says further rain, sleet and snow is likely in many areas of the UK on Saturday, but temperatures will gradually rise.

There could be further snow showers in the north-east while a band of slightly warmer air will allow a thaw of some snow and ice in the afternoon.

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