Regions set for midweek cold snap

Drivers are being urged to prepare for what for many will be the first snow of the winter as the weather turns "noticeably colder" from Tuesday night.

Motorists will face a "nice and pretty" covering of snow and cold morning starts by the middle of the week but forecasters are not expecting any serious disruption.

Temperatures in the UK were as high as 13C at the end of last week, but they will be more like 4C-6C at the most in midweek and Tuesday night could see the mercury dip to between zero and -3C. Car owners should conduct a winter check to ensure their vehicles run well in cold conditions and are less likely to suffer breakdowns .

The cold snap is being caused by colder air moving south from the Arctic, according to Rachel Vince, a senior forecaster at MeteoGroup , the Press Association's weather division. She said Scotland, the east coast of England, west Wales, south west England and Northern Ireland could all see a "light dusting of snow".

But she added that the cold weather will not stay long, with temperatures improving again towards the weekend.

RAC patrol ambassador Baldi Singh said: "While many children will be disappointed that we are unlikely to see deep snow this week motorists will be warmed by the news that there continues to be a respite before winter really bites for the majority of the country. But the RAC is advising drivers to make the most of the window of opportunity to carry out some vital checks to ensure their vehicles are in the best shape to face the inevitable harsher conditions and that they won't let them down in the bitter cold and ice.

"If your car service is overdue then it would be wise to book it into the garage now to avoid a stressful breakdown. The biggest cause of breakdown last Winter was battery failure (25% of call-outs for the RAC) and the sub-zero temperatures really take their toll on old and tired batteries so it is worth checking the condition of your battery and consider replacing it if it hasn't got the juice.

"Don't let winter catch you out - make sure you check the usual suspects to ensure your car is in best shape: oil, coolant, screen wash (avoid cheap products which only protect down to -5 degrees - you should really use a screen wash which will protect down to at least -10 or if you live in areas that experience the extremes -20 degrees) and remember to check the rubber - your tyre pressures and tread depth and the effectiveness of your wiper blades.

"Ensure all your lights are functioning correctly and remember to pack the essentials just in case you do get caught out - so warm clothing, a blanket, de-icer and scraper, a shovel and a flask with a warm drink and some food if you are taking a long journey. It is worth checking Winter Driving Advice for a comprehensive checklist of vehicle checks and things to pack.

Copyright Press Association 2013