Monday, February 08, 2010

Oh no! Here we go Again!!

Up to SIX INCHES of snow set to fall as Siberian blast brings return of the big freeze.

Heavy snow warning issued for South East
Snow falls could continue into next week
Freeze brings new grit supply warning

Snow returned to Britain today as forecasters issued severe weather alerts for later in the week - when up to six inches could fall in parts of the country.

A blast of Siberian wind brought light snow to the South East and parts of London, with heavier falls set to arrive on Thursday and Friday.

Temperatures could fall to as low as -5c tonight and -6c tomorrow night, with biting winds making the days feel bitterly cold as well.

In a fresh blast of wintry weather, eastern parts of Britain will be most at risk of snow showers but western parts could have the coldest temperatures because of a lack of cloud cover.

And as Britain's coldest winter for more than 30 years shows no signs of giving in to spring, fears are growing that grit supplies could again be put under pressure.

Parts of the South East and central London have seen snowfalls already today, making the roads treacherous for commuters. In Charing, Kent, a jack-knifed lorry blocked one of the main routes.

The situation is expected to worsen as the week goes on.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather 'advisory' for heavy snow in London and the South East for this Thursday and Friday.

A spokesman said: 'Snow showers may become frequent, heavy and prolonged at times, leading to accumulations of 5 to 10 cm in some areas, with 15 cm possible locally over high ground. Some drifting is also possible.'

An 'advisory' is issued when forecasters are less than 60 per cent sure of their predictions. This is upgraded to a warning above that level.

'We're about 40 per cent sure at the moment,' said the spokesman.

Clare Allen, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said the snow would continue to be light but there could be some heavy spells.

Temperatures will drop below zero tonight in most places so there is a risk of widespread ice, she added.

Frosty mornings are also expected for the next few days as the chilly weather is expected to last into the weekend.

'It's going to stay chilly,' said Miss Allen. 'It's looking to remain cold throughout the week.

''There will be a scattering of snow showers, mainly over high ground, but it will be largely sunny but still cold.'

Tomorrow temperatures will struggle to reach 4C during the day, but the wind will make it feel colder.

The East coast and higher ground could see outbreaks of snow and at night temperatures will drop to -6C.

By Wednesday, temperatures will edge lower still - around 2C during the day - with heavier snow showers in the East and on higher ground, and several inches deep in some places.

Cllr David Sparks, from the Local Government Association in England, said councils were going to have to carefully manage where they use their salt.

'Where stocks are low, councils will step up even further their efforts to share salt with neighbouring authorities,' he said.

'Although in some areas, last month’s snow and freezing weather went away, councils in many places have had to continue to grit the roads.

'Councils have been working hard to replenish their salt stocks with some authorities importing salt from abroad, but they can only restock as fast as salt suppliers can dig salt out of the ground.'

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said drivers are being warned to take extra care while the wintry conditions persist and a Highways Agency spokesman said there are warnings for drivers to take care throughout southern and eastern England.

But the new icy blast will be nothing like as bad as the ‘Snowmageddon’ that has descended on parts of America, with Washington DC smothered in as much as 32 inches.

Forecast Weather from the BBC


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