Snow warning as freeze-up grips Yorkshire

YORKSHIRE is braced for more winter weather over the next 48 hours, as forecasters expect the entire country to be blanketed in snow.

Up to 5cm (two inches) of snow fell in parts of the East Riding and West Yorkshire yesterday and more heavy showers were expected overnight and today along the east coast.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: "We are likely to see strong winds in parts of the East Riding so we could see drifting in places where snow has fallen and not frozen."

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Snowfall is expected to continue into tomorrow, the North York Moors likely to see up to 20cm (eight inches) in some areas while other parts of Yorkshire can expect up to two inches, the forecaster warned.

The cold spell has already seen record low temperatures in some parts of the country, with both Wales and Northern Ireland recording the coldest November night since records began.

The mercury at Llysdinam, near Llandrindod Wells in Wales, plunged to minus 17.3C last night, while Lough Fea in Northern Ireland hit minus 9.2C.

Topcliffe in North Yorkshire was the coldest place in England on Saturday night as the temperature plunged to minus 13.5C.

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However, this was not the coldest November night on record in Yorkshire, as a temperature of minus 15C was recorded at Whitcliffe Hall, near Ripon, in 1993.

So far Scotland and the North East of England have been worst hit by the icy blast, with 40cm (16in) of snow falling.

Severe weather warnings were in place yesterday along the east coast from Scotland, down through the North East, Yorkshire and into the East Midlands.

However forecasters expect the rest of the country to be affected by snow this week as the wintry weather moves to the West of the country.

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Breakdown recovery services have seen the number of call- outs in the region rise over the weekend, North Yorkshire said to be one of the busiest parts of the country.

An RAC spokesman said: "The roads in Yorkshire remained treacherous yesterday, and we are very, very busy helping motorists in the region.

"We saw a 25 per cent increase in the number of callouts we would expect in the region on Saturday and yesterday we were even busier.

"Looking ahead to today, the forecast is for more bad weather – commuters in Yorkshire would be well advised to consider alternatives to the morning drive in to work, either working from home or finding another form of transport."

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An AA spokesman said a team of "snow-busting" Land Rovers were operating across remote areas of North Yorkshire as the service received an increasing number of callouts.

He also warned that more calls were expected today as motorists attempted to start cars which had sat in the freezing weather over the weekend.

He said: "The increase in calls is not just because of cars that are stuck in snow or have been in accidents. The icy weather is a killer for car batteries – especially those that are more than five years-old."

North Yorkshire Police confirmed yesterday that officers only had to deal with a series of minor accidents despite the freezing temperatures making driving conditions treacherous.

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The force received calls about eight accidents in a two-hour period up until 5pm. But Insp Vicky Taylor did urge drivers to be extra careful while out on the county's roads and to allow more time for journeys.

She added: "If motorists take heed of the advice, then they should not experience too many problems while out driving."

Councils across Yorkshire are set to use volunteers to cope with the snowfall this winter.

More than 50 "snow wardens" in Sheffield have been trained to clear the city's roads and footpaths after volunteering in the summer.

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Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, of Sheffield Council, said: "We believe it is important to make it possible for local people to get involved and the new snow wardens, with our support, will help to keep the city moving."

Wakefield Council is now looking to follow Sheffield's example and introduce snow wardens while Rotherham Council is also looking to recruit volunteers.


A PARADE of armed forces personnel in North Yorkshire was affected by the severe weather after it was decided that an inspection of troops would have to be cancelled yesterday in the icy conditions.

The RAF Leeming parade is held every two years in Northallerton. It is thought that this was the first time the inspection has had to be called off because of weather since it began in 1978. The parade did, however, go ahead and more than 250 people cheered on the 85 RAF and Army personnel from the North Yorkshire base who took part.

RAF Leeming spokesman Tim Reid said: "The weather did unfortunately have an impact on the inspection, but we were nonetheless extremely pleased with the turnout of the public."