UK & World News

  • 15 January 2013, 1:11

Weather Warning: The Worst Is Yet To Come

Large swathes of the UK have been hit by heavy snowfall causing travel problems for motorists and rail users.

Weather forecasters say the worst is yet to come with up to 10cm (4in) of snow expected to fall on high ground.

The snow and ice led to more than 20 motorists being rescued by the AA after their cars got stuck, while one rail operator has introduced speed restrictions.

Sleet and snow fell in many parts of England on Monday morning and a second, heavier band is moving south and east.

The worst affected areas are expected to be East Midlands, eastern England, the North East and Yorkshire, for which the Met Office has issued amber warnings.

There are also eight yellow warnings covering parts of England and Scotland, to make people aware of possible disruption.

The second highest ice and snow alert - level three - is in force for the whole of England - with a 90% chance of severe cold conditions between now and Friday and temperatures falling to below zero overnight.

Sky News weather producer Joanna Robinson said: "Eastern Britain will have further sleet or snow overnight but it will turn increasingly showery form the north.

"Five to 10cm (2 to 4in) of snow is expected across parts of Lincolnshire and East Anglia. About half that amount is possible across the far south-east of England later.

"Further west, evening showers will tend to die away to leave most places dry. There'll be a widespread frost, giving icy stretches."

The AA said it had attended around 9,000 breakdowns including 23 cars stuck in snow - mainly in the Grampians in Scotland, Oxfordshire and the East Midlands.

A spokesman said breakdowns were coming in at more than 1,100 every hour, having peaked at around 1,750. It expected to attend more than 16,000 for the day, compared to around 10,500 on an average Monday.

Rail operator Greater Anglia warned of disruptions to services after placing speed restrictions on some lines because of snow.

It said trains between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich may be delayed by up to 30 minutes, while some early evening services faced cancellation.

Leeds Bradford Airport said severe weather had disrupted its flight schedule for a while but services were now back to normal.

The Highways Agency has warned motorists to take extra care overnight and into the early hours on roads made slippery by frozen snow and sleet.

With temperature set to drop to minus 8C (17.6F) on Wednesday night, the agency said it was "well prepared" for any adverse winter conditions to come.

A spokeswoman said: "We have a fleet of 500 state-of-the-art winter vehicles on standby, supported by tried-and-tested winter resilience plans.

"We have reviewed salt stock levels and taken action where needed to enhance our resilience and we have again established a reserve salt stock to help ensure that there is enough salt to deal with severe winter.

"Our roads will be treated whenever there is a risk of ice or snow. However, even when roads have been treated, drivers should still take care, especially on stretches where the local road layout or landscape means there could be a greater risk of ice forming."

Looking ahead to Tuesday, Robinson said: "Eastern coastal counties of Britain will see showers moving southwards, allowing northern parts to have a drier and brighter afternoon.

"Eastern Britain will see an additional 2 to 3cm (1in) in a few places.

"Elsewhere, it'll be mainly dry with good spells of sunshine, but north-west Scotland and west Wales will see the odd wintry shower. It'll remain very cold just about everywhere."

Robsinson added: "Wednesday and Thursday will be a cold and bright for many places, but Ireland will be cloudier and wetter.

"By Friday, south-west Britain could have some snow although at this stage there's a great deal of uncertainty."

:: Send us your photos or videos of the snow where you are.

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