Heavy weather warnings for snow extended by two days

Severe weather warnings for snow and ice have been extended through Thursday and Friday covering much of England and Wales.

There were warnings in place until Wednesday but this afternoon a fresh alert was issued by the Met Office.

Up to 10cm of snow could fall at higher levels in some areas, with one to two cms expected on lower ground.

And forecasters are discussing the possibility of Thursday being the day to expect the most disruption.

The new warning is in place from 3pm on Thursday until midday Friday and means the UK has weather alerts every day this week until Saturday.

Ice is expected to cause havoc on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths in the wake of snow or wintry showers.

Motorists faced difficult driving conditions on Tuesday morning as snow and sleet fall in some areas.

Forecasters say London will see snow showers – although they are unlikely to settle.

BBC meteorologist Matt Taylor said: "Thursday could bring significant snow disruption to a few areas. Great uncertainty at present over the dividing line between snow and rain areas, but parts of Wales and the Midlands are of particular interest."

Rail firms plan to run empty ‘ghost trains’ at night to clear snow and ice, while Network Rail had 34 de-icing trains prepared.

The AA told motorists to ‘drive to the conditions’, with parts of Scotland already under snow.

Met Office forecaster Ellie Creed said: “It’s a case of normal wintry hazards that we would expect – snow, ice and frost are going to be quite prevalent over the next few days.”

Traffic Scotland tweeted that snow was falling on parts of the M80 and M77 on Tuesday morning while Amey reported snow on the M8, M9 and A7.

 Graham Madge, from the Met Office, said: "All of England and Wales has the potential to see snow of between 1cm (0.4in) and 3cm (1.2in) in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

"The band of snow will work its way eastwards on Tuesday night and there could be up to 10cm (4in) in higher areas like the Chilterns. Temperatures will drop very dramatically and snow will turn to ice."

The first of the wintry conditions arrived this morning as rain moving eastwards across the country turned to snow with temperatures falling to -5C.

Police had to stop a car in Scotland which was being driven with its windows still covered in snow. Only a small area had been cleared on the front windscreen.

In the Highlands, 10 schools were closed on Tuesday due to bad weather.

In north Wales five schools are closed in Gwynedd, two in Flintshire and one in Conwy.

Forecasters have warned that villages could be cut off and roads could become impassable in the worst-hit places.

Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Transport spokesman, said: “Councils are well prepared for the onset of winter and the sharp drop in temperatures, with an abundance of salt stockpiled.

“Winter preparation is a key priority for councils, despite ongoing funding pressures and competing demands on their limited resources.

"Across the country, local authorities have again risen to the challenge and already put measures in place to protect their residents from floods, ice, and wintry conditions.

“Councils are constantly monitoring the weather, with up-to-the-minute reports to stay one step ahead.

"Depots are filled with 1.4 million tonnes of salt and gritters are ready to be deployed instantly to make sure our local roads are clear and open to our residents where possible.

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