The situation in Suffolk continues to present numerous challenges, with the areas of North, East and Central Suffolk worst hit by the weather conditions. High winds and sub-zero temperatures continue to drive drifting snow across many routes making for hazardous driving conditions. The Emergency Services have responded to numerous call for Road Traffic Collisions and stranded motorists and the advice remains to plan your journey carefully due to the number of routes, particularly in rural areas, impassable. With more adverse weather forecast for later this afternoon, the current advice is to try and leave work to arrive home ahead of the snow.
Suffolk Highways has worked to clear routes, with the priority going to the P1 (A-roads) and in particular the A140 that has been closed throughout. They have mobilised local farmers to assist with clearing the minor and unclassified roads. A number of volunteer organisations, including ECat and Suffolk and Norfolk 4 x 4 Response, have provided additional vehicles to get assistance to the most vulnerable customers and get essential staff to / from hospitals. If you have a blocked road please report the matter to Suffolk Highways on 0345 606 6171. We would like to thank those of you who have fed through information over the last 2 days, as it all helps to build an accurate picture of what is really happening on the ground.
Most schools in Suffolk remain closed today and Ipswich Town Football Club (ITFC) has postponed their game against Hull on Saturday.
The cold weather will continue today with sub-zero temperatures, strong to gale force winds and a light covering (2 – 5cm) of additional snow for Friday night and into Saturday morning. Ice will continue to present a hazard until the day time temperatures struggle above zero on Saturday. Sunday should be bright and clear with temperatures rising throughout next week, although nights will continue to be below zero.
The spring tides on late Saturday and through Sunday will trigger a number of Alerts along coastal regions to be issued by the Environment Agency. Nothing to worry about and the slow thaw should not lead to any fluvial problems, although standing water that freezes overnight will continue to make for hazardous driving conditions.
We would ask that you check on the elderly and vulnerable and provide situational awareness on any local issues. We are aware that you have been gritting roads and pavements and the grit/sand stocks in some bins are getting low. Please report this online to Suffolk Highways and they will try and replenish where resources allow.
Anglian Water has published some useful advice on frozen pipes at: http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/household/water-supply/burst-pipes/
We have received the following “local” weather update from the Met Office:
Friday is looking like it will be the final day of this exceptionally cold spell of weather here in the East of England, with more typical early March weather thereafter.
Before conditions turn less cold, there is still the prospect of further fresh snowfall today and tonight.
The rest of today, will see bitterly cold strong winds but these will very slowly ease from this afternoon across our region. Daytime temperatures will remain below freezing all day and this means that any powdery snow will continue to blow around and drift in places. However, as winds decrease later this should become less of an issue.
Cloudy skies today will bring some outbreaks of snow up from the south. This means the Hertfordshire and Essex will see any snow first today, followed by Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and eventually Norfolk into this afternoon.
Around 2 to 5cm of snow could fall by midnight tonight – and in one or two locations, up to around 10cm. As a result, a Yellow Warning for Snow and Ice has been issued for all of the East of England. This Warning brings a Low Likelihood of further Medium Impacts – and is valid until 2355 today.
Early on Saturday, further snow is possible – but is expected to ease through the morning but could still produce a further 1 to 3cm of snow in places. Attention the focusses on the risk of widespread ice on untreated surfaces. To highlight this ice risk, a Yellow Warning for Ice has been issued and is valid from 0005 until 1100 on Saturday, bringing a Medium Likelihood of Low Impacts.
As snow eases on Saturday morning, it could turn to sleet or rain – especially in coastal districts. Indeed, temperatures should eventually finally make an appearance above freezing during the day on Saturday, allowing a thaw of lying snow to begin.
Overnight Saturday into Sunday morning will see temperatures dip close to or below freezing once again, so ice on untreated surfaces – or where thawing snow refreezes should be expected.
Sunday looks set to be lees cold, cloudy with some outbreaks of rain. With temperatures several degrees above freezing by Sunday – there will be a more noticeable thaw of lying snow. This thaw and outbreaks of rain means that surfaces water will develop.
Next week will continue to be less cold with rain or showers at times – but still with the risk of overnight frost and ice on untreated surfaces, especially where lying snow continues to slowly thaw. There will also be on-going surface water developing, especially by day. With the ground now very cold and less cold air above the surface – low cloud, mist and fog could form readily where winds remain light.