Snow set for today, road chaos looms

A STEADY build up of snow looks likely to cause chaos on Suffolk's roads by the end of the week, forecasters warned today.

Simon Tomlinson

A STEADY build up of snow looks likely to cause chaos on Suffolk's roads by the end of the week, forecasters warned today.

Snowfall was expected to be light and patchy this afternoon, but become heavier tomorrow and Thursday.

By Friday there could be several inches along with high winds which threaten to clog up roads with snowdrifts.

Weatherquest forecaster Steve Western said: “Ipswich and Suffolk will have patchy, light snow on and off. There will be an accumulation of 1cm to 2cm this afternoon and nothing too serious overnight.

“But tomorrow, there is going to be heavier snow that is likely to cause some problems from mid to late morning onwards.

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“By the end of tomorrow there will be a couple of inches of snow accumulating with similar amounts to come on Thursday and Friday.

“By the end of the week we could see drifting snow, which could cause all the roads to fill up and grind to a halt.”

Across the rest of the country, drivers were being advised to consider whether their journeys are essential before travelling for the rest of today and overnight into Wednesday as continuing snow and freezing temperatures are forecast.

Some train services were also cancelled as forecasters predicted one of the coldest winters in 100 years.

The National Grid warned power suppliers to use less gas after seeing a 30% rise on normal seasonal demand during the cold snap.

But Prime Minister Gordon Brown today denied the country was facing a gas supply crisis.

“I think Britain can deal with these problems,” he said, during a visit to the London Gateway port construction site, near Thurrock, Essex.

“There are always difficulties when we have a long spell of bad weather. But we can cope.”

Manchester Airport and the John Lennon Airport in Liverpool were temporarily closed, while passengers at Heathrow, Gatwick, Glasgow and Leeds Bradford International all faced delayed flight departures.

Ten East Coast Main Line rail services between London and Leeds were among the train journeys which had to be axed.

On the roads, heavy snow caused a section of the A66 to be shut in both directions in Cumbria and a succession of accidents added to drivers' difficulties on many routes.

Meanwhile, supermarkets saw a surge in panic buying as shoppers stocked up on essential items, as well as anti-freeze products, boots and thermal underwear.

Temperatures fell as low as minus 10C (14F) across parts of England overnight, with no end in sight to the freezing weather.

It is predicted up to 4ins of snow will fall in parts of the UK today.