Up to 8 inches of snow forecasted for the weekend

Britain is bracing for three days of potentially life-threatening weather including as much as 20cm of snow, 100mm of rain and 70mph gales.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for snow, rain and wind ahead of a late winter storm – which could be named Storm Hannah – that threatens widespread travel disruption.

Up to 20cm (eight inches) of snow could fall on Saturday as a low pressure system moves across Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and northern England.

The same system could dump as much as 100mm (four inches) of rain in Wales and northern England in the wake of Storm Gareth.

Western and southern parts of the UK will be battered by wind gusts of up to 70mph as snow and rain hits large parts of the country.

The Met Office issued the snow, rain and wind warnings on Thursday to give Britons enough time to prepare for dangerous conditions and travel disruption.

It warned “difficult” driving conditions are expected, along with longer journey times for rail and bus services.

Huge waves are expected to batter coastlines in the strongest winds, which are expected in the west and south.

The impacts of severe weather could carry over into Sunday as well.

Dozens of flood warnings and alerts are in place.

The Met Office said: “A developing area of low pressure is expected to track across Northern Ireland, northern England and southern Scotland on Saturday.

“As this runs into colder air, snow is likely to develop, particularly in any heavier bursts of precipitation.

“The largest snowfall amounts will be confined to higher ground, with the potential for 10-20cm of snow above 350m.

“Between 100m and 350m elevation, a mixture of rain, sleet and snow is more likely, but there is potential for accumulations of 2-5cm, and a small chance of 10cm should the precipitation be heavy enough to maintain snow for a longer duration.

“With warm air close by to the south, it may be that places in the south of this warning area end up with mainly rain.”

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