Bitter windchill will make winter freeze feel like -23C

Britain is shivering through a sudden cold snap as freezing rain and strong winds from Storm Deirdre batter the country.

Amber and yellow weather warnings are in place for most of the UK as weather experts warned ‘freezing ice’ could cause widespread travel disruption.

Collisions and road closures have been reported by police forces across England after heavy snow, ice, strong winds and rain forecast for tomorrow.

The Met Office confirmed freezing rain had been reported at Leeds Bradford Airport today, with worsening conditions expected.

The rare phenomenon has also been falling in parts of southern Scotland and the North East, the Met Office said.

A spokesperson said: "All in all, it’s some pretty awful weather out there.

"We’ve seen a band of precipitation work its way across the country while freezing rain through Scotland and the Pennines has resulted in some travel disruption."

The Met Office said that Cairgorn in the Scottish Highlands saw the worst of the inclement weather, as gusts measuring 120 mph and sub-zero temperatures made it feel like -23C.

Three amber and four yellow weather warnings have been issued covering almost the entirety of the country.

Only London and the South East are not facing an alert, but are still due to receive some heavy rain.

A major tourist destination in Cornwall was forced to close after being flooded.

The Eden Project told visitors it would be shut until 5pm on Saturday "due to flood water on the site".

Thousands of homes and businesses were left without electricity after powerful winds battered parts of Ireland.

Disruptive and damaging gusts of up to 130kph (81mph) were predicted as trees were felled during Storm Deirdre on Saturday.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill warned that more freezing rain could fall on Saturday and overnight into Sunday: "You can have nothing and just a few drops of rain and very quickly you’ve got icy stretches.

"The fact that we’ve already had road closures and accidents as a result of the ice suggests there will be further issues as we go through the rest of today."

Mr Burkill added: "We’ve not really had the worst of it just yet and we’ve already seen the impact."

Sunday is expected to be a "dryer, brighter day" for most people, he said

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