Icy roads alert after ‘thundersnow’

Published: Friday 30th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Britons have been warned to brace themselves for fresh disruption today as snow freezes over, bringing potentially perilous road conditions.

“Thundersnow” storms battered large parts of northern Britain yesterday, with up to 9in (23cm) of snow falling in some parts.

And forecasters said that ice poses the major threat today, although some sleet and snow storms could strike.

Helen Roberts, a forecaster at the Met Office, said: “Ice is going to be the main hazard tonight and we could see more snow.

“We could see some more sleet and snow coming in from the north west – the remnants of it could clip the south east and as far south as London.

“The chances are that by the time it reaches the south it will be less intense, but there could be a light dusting of snow over those areas.

“I will imagine there will be more transport problems with the ice potentially being more of a hazard than snow.

“The strength of the wind is making things feel extremely raw.”

The Highways Agency warned of icy roads as temperatures plummet and said its gritters will be out in force.

It comes after “thundersnow” storms lashed Britain yesterday, forcing 300 schools to close, while roads ground to a halt and flights were cancelled.

Holidaymakers were left stranded as Manchester Airport closed both of its runways for several hours, while flights were suspended at East Midlands Airport.

Glum-looking travellers at Manchester Airport were led back off planes carrying hand luggage while airport staff used shovels to clear the snow.

More than a dozen rail services between Manchester and Yorkshire were cancelled and main roads in Durham and Yorkshire were shut.

The disruption was so severe that Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Twitter that he has asked for updates on the weather and measures taken to keep transport systems and energy supplies running.

He said: “I have asked for an update on our heavy snow contingency plans. The gritters are out and people should listen to warnings.”

Northern parts of the UK were worst hit by the snow storms. Tulloch Bridge in Inverness-shire had 9in (23cm) of snow, while there was 8in (21cm) at Glenanne in Armagh and Spadeadam in Cumbria had 5in (13cm).

A fierce Arctic blast will sweep the country on Saturday and Sunday, bringing snow across the north, and down the south west and east coasts of England and East Anglia.

Published: Friday 30th January 2015 by The News Editor

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