Region warned to expect severe weather

A SEVERE weather warning is expected to be issued for East Anglia today with another bitter onslaught of snow and freezing Siberian winds.

Kate McGrath

A SEVERE weather warning is expected to be issued for East Anglia today with another bitter onslaught of snow and freezing Siberian winds.

The Met Office is warning of a 'significant' covering of snow this afternoon, which is set to worsen overnight and as the week progresses.

And there are warnings the cold snap could last for another 14 days before there is any sign of a thaw.

According to EADT weatherman, Ken Blowers, this is the coldest winter for 18 years with January looking to set to break records in snowfall and cold temperatures.

“And it is only going to get worse,” he warns.

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Forecasters predict flurries of snow and sleet today, with daytime temperatures barely nudging 1C. Overnight mercury readings are set to tip the -6C mark.

The Met Office's severe weather warning is expected to be in place until Thursday night.

Suffolk County Council has moved to reassure residents they have been gritting overnight in preparation for snow.

They are expecting overnight road temperatures of -7C.

However, a spokesperson warned: “Because of the severe cold the salt is less effective and we are advising people to be cautious when driving on all routes as ice could be a problem anywhere.”

Tom Defty, from Olympic Weather, based in north Essex, predicts there will be a band of snow today, about 1cm, before the Siberian air arrives with heavy snow showers pushing in from the North Sea overnight.

“Suffolk will see a new wave of cold Siberian air arrive this week with even lower temperatures and heavier, more widespread snow from the East,” said Mr Defty.

“Temperatures will remain around freezing across large parts of East Anglia both by day and night over the next two weeks. Where snow has accumulated and severe frosts develop this weekend, the mercury may drop as low as -10C in one or two rural spots.”

He added: “Confidence on a prolonged cold spell remain a strong possibility, with meteorological computer models showing no sign of a breakdown in the next 14 days.

“North Sea temperatures have plummeted over the past two weeks as icy cold winds continue to blow from the continent. One observation buoy off the Essex coast has measured a 4C drop since Christmas.”

Weatherman Phil Garner, of Norwich-based Weatherquest, said we will continue to see the mercury drop to -1C during the day.

He said: “Today will start bright but cloud increasing and snow showers likely to break out now and again from lunchtime. The snow and sleet showers will continue as the week progresses.

“The average daytime temperature we see for this time of year is normally around 4 or 5C but we are struggling to stay above 1 or 2C.”

A spokesperson for Ipswich Hospital said although the hospital had been extremely busy, it wasn't weather related.

She said: “We have been extremely busy but the reason for this is winter.

“We haven't had a significant number of patients suffering from slips and falls.”

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