Snow UK: What is a snow drift? How much snow are we getting tonight?

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Avon and Somerset Police said there are 20 significant incidents of people stranded in drifts across their area.

Snowy drifts are also expected to cause havoc in Scotland over the coming days after days of heavy snow.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Just finished latest @scotgov resilience call. A big issue over next couple of days will be snow drifts, making some local roads impassable.

"@scotgov will work with councils to mitigate impact on communities. Advice to public is to check with local council before travelling."

The army has been called out to rescue hundreds of people stuck in their cars on roads as the Beast of the East unleashes another day of heavy snow.

What is a snow drift?

Snow drifts are huge mounds of snow whipped up by the wind.

They can resemble sand dunes and are formed after snow is moved by light wind and then deposited as the wind dies down.

Snow UK: Snow drift next to car, wave breaking

PASnow UK: What is a snow drift?

Snow drifts often form against stationary objects such as houses or road signs.

The Met Office says “dry, powder snow is the easiest type of snow to move around because it doesn’t stick together like wet snow”.

The wind must also be blowing at least 10 mph in order for the snow to move.

Snow drifts have been spotted around the country as Storm Emma ravages the country with freezing blizzards and high winds.

The said snow depths had reached half a metre in Drumalbin, Lanarkshire and St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales.

Snow UK: Where snow is falling nowNETWEATHER

Snow UK: Where snow is falling now

Snow UK: A snow plough out clearing driftsPA

Snow UK: A snow plough clearing drifts in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside

Around 40cm of snow was measured in Bishopton, Renfrewshire and in Spadeadam in Cumbria.

How much snow are we getting tonight?

Snow showers will continue to blight Britain into this afternoon and night bringing a further risk of snow drifts and icy conditions.

“Frequent snow showers” are expected to lash Scotland and north-east England until 11.55pm as a Met Office yellow weather warning takes effect.

The snowfall will vary depending on the area but could be as much as between 5cm and 10cm in some parts, with the risk of strong winds leading to snow drifts.