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Latest snow updates and weather warnings as Beast from the East hits Suffolk and north Essex

PUBLISHED: 16:40 27 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:47 27 February 2018

Early risers make the most of the fresh snow in Christchurch Park.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Early risers make the most of the fresh snow in Christchurch Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Heavy snowfall has hit the region overnight, with some reporting several inches of the white stuff.

And latest forecasts look set for a similar picture again overnight tonight.

Met Office and Weatherquest forecasters are predicting further snowfall later today, with an Amber warning in place for coastal Essex and Suffolk until midday.

Heavy snowfall covered Rushmere common in a blanket of white.Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHeavy snowfall covered Rushmere common in a blanket of white.Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Temperatures plunged to -8C in Santon Downham in north Suffolk overnight, making it the coldest night of winter so far.

By tonight, between 10cm and 15cm of snow is expected to have fallen in coastal areas such as Harwich, Felixstowe and Clacton.

A dog walker in the snow in Christchurch park.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA dog walker in the snow in Christchurch park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In Ipswich and east Suffolk, between 5cm and 10cm is predicted to fall.

Western and northern parts of Suffolk are expected to get between 2cm to 5cm of the white stuff.

Forecasters at Weatherquest said the temperatures seen overnight in Suffolk are the coldest this winter, and while awaiting final figures, may be the coldest temperatures since January 2013.

Cold temperatures so late in the season are unusual.

Dr Richard Jones, forecaster, said: “Essentially there was around 10 miles into the atmosphere a rapid warming event and it disrupts the flow of westerly winds.”

Dr Jones said it causes high pressure, and has caused very cold easterly winds to hit the region.

He added: “We are talking about winds from Siberia where it feels very cold – this is the first time we have had really cold easterly winds.”

Stay with us for the latest travel updates, school closures and weather forecast.

Cameron and Miley Nash on their sleds at the 'dip' next to West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARDCameron and Miley Nash on their sleds at the 'dip' next to West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

The snow showers are expected to move inland and into the west of the county this morning before remaining drier this afternoon.

However, temperatures are not likely to bust a high of 0C.

Christchurch park is covered in a blanket of snow.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChristchurch park is covered in a blanket of snow. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The heaviness of the snow has also caused some thunder snow storms in pockets of the region.

Dr Jones said they weren’t ruling out tonight being colder again still, with similar weather set for tonight.

Morning sunlight filters through the trees in Christchurch park.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMorning sunlight filters through the trees in Christchurch park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He said that more heavy snow showers with a couple of centimetres of snow is expected again.

Ipswich Borough Council has said that its bin collection teams are out and about in Ipswich this morning, but has urged residents to be patient as the teams attempt to collect bins in the tricky conditions.

First light in Christchurch park.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFirst light in Christchurch park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A borough council spokesman said: “All the crews were out at 6am. We apologise if we don’t get to you today but we are doing our best. Please be patient and we will empty your bin as soon as we are able to do so safely.”

Borough council staff have also been out hand-gritting parts of the town centre and around the rail station.

Early risers make the most of the fresh snow in Christchurch Park.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNEarly risers make the most of the fresh snow in Christchurch Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The parks remain open but those using them are being urged to take care on the icy paths.

Read more: Live travel updates as heavy snowfall hits region

Read more: Is your child’s school closed? See the full list here

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