Snow disrupts travel as cold and icy spell persists


Temperatures overnight on Sunday were not expected to be as cold as Saturday night, BBC Weather’s Paul Goddard said...reports Asian Lite News

A rescue operation is under way to reunite drivers with their vehicles abandoned in heavy snow and restore electricity to 2,000 homes in Cumbria.

The Met Office estimates as much as 30cm of snow fell, trapping people in cars and forcing them to spend the night in temporary accommodation. Further north, the coldest night since March was recorded in Scotland with the temperature dropping to -12.5C (9.5F) More weather warnings for snow and ice come into force on Sunday evening. A Met Office yellow warning for ice across much of northern England, the Midlands and northern Wales is in place until midday on Monday.

This means difficult travel conditions are likely, as well as icy patches on roads and pavements. In eastern Scotland, a yellow warning for snow and ice will be in place at the same time. On Monday, heavy rain is forecast across parts of southern England and south-east Wales. The Met Office has a yellow warning in place for possible flooded homes and businesses and travel disruption from midnight until 18:00 GMT. In Cumbria, police declared a “major incident” on Saturday evening after thick snow caused about 7,000 homes and businesses to lose power and made roads unpassable. Drivers were forced to abandon their cars to seek warm places to spend the night. Emma Thompson, from Ulverston, slept in a scout hut in Hawkshead after she became stranded on her way home from manning a chilli jam stall at the local Christmas fair. “By 16:00 I was up to my knees (in snow),” she said.

The 54-year-old slept in a dormitory with 10 other women, while others stayed in the local church and school. Meteorologist Tom Morgan estimated 20 to 30cm of snow fell in southern Cumbria but cautioned these were not official measurements. Electricity North West (ENWL) said its network had been severely impacted but indicated it had restored power to nearly 5,000 customers on Sunday. Highways teams spent Sunday clearing and treating main routes through the county and advised drivers picking up abandoned cars to only use these routes on their journeys. Cumbria police urged people to only travel if necessary and warned that black ice might become a risk in some areas. Temperatures overnight on Sunday were not expected to be as cold as Saturday night, BBC Weather’s Paul Goddard said.

He added that colder-than-average temperatures would remain for the first half of the week, but by Thursday it could be wetter and windier but more mild, with a possible 13C in south-west England.Separately, an amber health alert for cold weather, issued by the UK Health Security Agency, is in place until Tuesday for five central and northern regions in England. A yellow warning is in place for four other regions, including London and southern and eastern England. The agency warned: “Cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for an extended period of time, with potential for the whole population to be at risk.”

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