Band of heavy snow set to hit parts of east of England this weekend

An icy blast is set to leave much of Scotland and England braced for snow.

Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk look set to be hit by a downfall from early on Saturday, according to a Met Office amber weather warning for snow.

Between 1-3 cm of snow may fall fairly widely over these areas – with 5-10 cm possible in places, mostly over parts of East Anglia and any higher ground.

It is set to come after temperatures may to drop to -1C in places such as Newcastle and Norwich on Friday evening, with fog patches in some places.

Milder temperatures will reach the far west, but many areas could get a dusting of snow.

The Met Office has also issued a snow and ice warning for much of Scotland and parts of England for the weekend as the chilly weather threatens travel.

It states that "a band of rain and heavy snow may lead to travel disruption".

It adds: "Icy stretches are also likely with rain and wet snow falling onto sub zero surfaces at times. Further south the most likely scenario is for rain though there is a small chance of snow falling down to 150 m or so leading to 2-5 cm in places."

A Met Office yellow weather warning also forecasts that East Anglia along with parts of Kent and Sussex may get a dusting of snow on Saturday.

Between 1-3 cm of snow may fall fairly widely over these areas with 5-10 cm possible in places, mostly over parts of East Anglia and any higher ground.

The warning adds: "Given recent wet weather and high river levels with rain and snow falling, then melting some flooding impacts are also possible."

Efforts to press on with the vaccine rollout continued on Friday despite the bad weather, with Leeds University delaying the opening of its asymptomatic Covid-19 test centre.

It said: "We know travel in the snow can be tricky, so if you are late you will still be seen."

Over-80s who were due to receive their Covid-19 vaccine at Newcastle's Centre for Life were told they could rebook rather than risk making a trip in the icy conditions.

Newcastle Hospitals tweeted: "There's enough vaccine for everyone, so don't worry about making a trip to Newcastle."

Freezing fog patches and plummeting temperatures saw an icy start to Friday which led to a loss of gas supply to approximately 700 homes in the Hebden Bridge area.

Water had got into the local gas network and frozen.

Engineers from Northern Gas Networks who were brought out to try and restore the supply found a large plug of frozen water in one of the pipes.

In Bottesford, Leicestershire, cars made their way through a flooded road and the River Roding in Essex burst its banks.

There was also a swollen River Chelmer in the village of Great Easton, Dunmow, where it burst its banks, flooded a nearby road

Winter weather Jan 15th 2021
Winter weather Jan 15th 2021

A large swathe of England was covered by 27 flood warnings by Friday afternoon.

Brighter Futures, which supports people with homelessness, mental health and other complex needs, said its severe weather emergency procedure is active due to the cold weather forecast.

It provides homes, hostels and health services in the Midlands and is giving emergency accommodation for everyone it sees, including people who are sleeping rough in Stoke-on-Trent or Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Winter weather Jan 15th 2021
Winter weather Jan 15th 2021

Heavy snowfall amid Britain's cold snap has already caused travel disruptions across sections of northern England and Scotland.

One of the jurors in the trial of Pawel Relowicz, who denies raping and murdering student Libby Squire, was unable to get to Sheffield Crown Court on Friday due to the weather.

The case was also postponed on Thursday when three jurors failed to make it through the wintry conditions in Sheffield.

Northumbria Police said 17 vehicles were involved in a succession of crashes on a stretch of the Coast Road in North Tyneside.

Emergency services were called to four separate incidents within a matter of hours on Friday morning.

Both carriageways were blocked between Middle Engine Lane and Billy Mill, although no-one was seriously injured.

Inspector Lynne Mckevitt said: "It is sheer luck that nobody was seriously injured, at a time when the NHS and blue-light services are already stretched."

Temperatures were as low as -6C (21.2F) early on Friday in parts of Yorkshire and Cumbria.

The Met Office published advice from the Department for Transport advising people to clear snow and ice from footpaths outside their homes.