Saturday 21 April 2018

Britain braced for further snow as deadly Artic freeze continues

Lauren Turner and Dave Higgens

AREAS of the UK could be blanketed by up to 3in (8cm) of snow today as the country continues to shiver in the Arctic freeze.

Treacherous conditions on the roads are also set to get worse with freezing rain battering some parts of Britain, forecasters have warned.

The Met Office has issued an "amber" warning instructing people the north of England to be prepared for widespread ice, while "yellow" warnings for snow and ice are in place in a number of English, Welsh and Scottish regions.

It comes after three people died in sub-zero, icy conditions in the north of England this week.

Nick Prebble, forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "There will be a problem with freezing rain this morning which is going to start causing problems in southern Scotland and northern England.

"It will spread south east, and as it moves will turn into sleet and snow."

The cold front will move to North Wales and Yorkshire, hitting the Midlands by the middle of this afternoon, he added.

Mr Prebble said: "From midday onwards, there will be snow falling, with between 4cm (1.6in) and 8cm (3in) possible.

"The areas worst affected are likely to be East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the East Midlands.

"There may well be snow flurries in London by the evening.

"It looks like it is going to settle in quite a wide area."

Cumbria Police said freezing conditions were already plaguing the county's roads this morning causing a lorry travelling along the eastbound carriageway of A66 in Stainmore to jacknife and block the road.

Today's blast of snow is expected to last into tomorrow before clearing by the weekend leaving cloud and drizzle. The south east of England is expected to see some sunshine.

The sub-zero temperatures are set to improve slightly over the coming days, but the mercury will still struggling to get above 0C in many places overnight with a clear east/west divide.

The Midlands and south east of England will see readings of between freezing and 3C during today, while Wales and south west England could see temperatures of up to 7C. Scotland and Northern Ireland could reach a balmy 11C.

Mr Prebble added: "At the weekend and next week it won't be as bitterly cold, but it is certainly still going to feel very chilly."

The Met Office has issued a level-three severe cold weather alert lasting until Saturday and has warned of icy roads across much of the UK.

Drivers have been reminded that roads will still pose a risk even if the temperatures begin to warm.

The thick blanket of snow that fell over parts of the UK at the weekend caused major travel disruption with a spike in road crashes and breakdowns.

A handful of schools were also forced to close due to the adverse weather conditions, while Heathrow Airport axed half of all flights on Sunday night.

Award-winning cheese-maker Mandy Reed was found dead in a snowy garden near her home on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales in the early hours of Sunday morning. The 47-year-old's death is being investigated by police.

In Hull, a man believed to be in his 50s was found dead in a park earlier this week. Police were called to an area near Woodland Road on Monday morning after the body was found by a dog walker.

He is thought to have frozen to death in temperatures which hit minus 7C (19.4F) in Hull on Sunday night.

In Castleford, West Yorkshire, a 10-year-old boy was found collapsed outside a friend's house on Sunday after going out to play in the snow.

Joshua Houlgate, who is understood to have suffered from epilepsy when he was younger, was pronounced dead in hospital despite frantic efforts to save him at the scene.

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