Snow flurries hit the region

PLUMMETING temperatures and icy winds have led to snow falling in some parts of Suffolk and Essex.

Russell Claydon

PLUMMETING temperatures and icy winds led to snow falling in some parts of Suffolk and Essex tonight.

Drivers have been warned they will be faced with slippery conditions on the regions roads tomorrow morning as a result of the cold spell.

The unseasonal conditions even forced officials at Colchester United's away fixture with Northampton to call the game off following a late pitch inspection.

Two-and-a-half hours of falling snow left the referee with a decision he is unlikely to have ever faced at an English game in October.

Chelmsford was another of the areas to receive a dusting of snow as temperatures hit freezing after a day of mainly uninterrupted sunny spells.

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Drivers are being advised to travel carefully tomorrow morning with a sharp frost expected to last until mid-morning in shadier parts.

Jim Bacon, of Weatherquest, said October snowfall was very rare but did not re-write the record books.

“It has happened in the past but it is about the earliest point this country gets these conditions,” he said.

“It is relatively rare in these warmer times though. Years ago it would have been normal to expect this sort of thing.”

The cold snap is expected to last until at least the end of the week, with a daytime temperature today of around 7C - some five degrees below what is expected for this time of year.

Mr Bacon said: “What happened is the area of showers in the north west of England moved down and into the south east and fallen as sleet or snow which was expected to happen. But in some of these places, including those on higher ground, enough snow has fallen to settle causing problems for the football.”

In contrast to today's conditions it will be fine and dry with lots of sunshine tomorrow, but will remain bitterly cold and there is no chance of more snow falling.

With Colchester's Coca Cola League One match being called off due to dangerous conditions just an hour before kick-off the travelling support had already arrived before having to turn around for Essex early.

The match was joined by games at Luton and Walsall to fall victim to the snowy weather.

Snow last fell in Suffolk and Essex at Easter, another period not usually associated with the condition.