Graphic weather satellite image suggests Storm Caroline set to pound Ireland today

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Saturday is set to be a much quieter day but Sunday and Monday will see "significant" snow for much of Northern England and the Midlands.

"Strong northwest winds may cause drifting of the snow in places with blizzard conditions possible across northern Scotland".

The Met Office said: 'Storm Caroline is expected to bring a spell of very windy weather to northern Scotland on Thursday.

They added: "Icy surfaces are also likely to be an additional hazard, especially overnight and there is the possibility of travel delays on roads stranding some vehicles, while some rural communities could be cut off and power supplies interrupted".

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Thick snow fell over many parts of the United Kingdom overnight with Storm Caroline taking freezing temperatures further south.

A yellow "be aware" warning has also been issued for southern Scotland and the north of Northern Ireland between 6am and 6pm on Thursday.

Nearly half of the workers on a North Sea platform have been relocated amid safety fears over conditions on Thursday.

As the storm moves towards Scandinavia, it will pull cold Arctic air down across Ireland, leading to snow showers and a risk of ice.

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The showers and winds will die down on Friday evening but there will be widespread frost and icy patches will return as temperatures fall to between minus 2 and plus 3 degrees.

The Met Office said: "During Friday, increasingly frequent snow showers already affecting parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England will extend across many other northern and western parts of the UK. Over higher ground, 20cm is possible in a few places".

Storm Caroline will be the third named storm of the season. The overnight temperature in Glasgow is expected to fall to -5C (23F) on Saturday night.

Caroline - the third named storm of the season after Aileen and Brian - will spin away from the United Kingdom across the North Sea towards Norway and Sweden today.

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CNR International said a total of 69 of the 159 staff on Ninian South, about 240 miles from Aberdeen, would be leaving the structure as a precaution.

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