Suffolk and Essex on standby for snow

Making a snowman on The Green at Great Bentley, Colchester, in 2010

Western parts of Suffolk could see as much as 3cm of snow fall this afternoon - Credit: Andrew Partridge/Archant

Suffolk and north Essex could see as much as 3cm of snow settle this afternoon as temperatures struggle to reach above freezing.

The forecasts come as an area of sleet and snow continues to move eastwards from the west of England – with forecasters believing areas in the west of Suffolk could see heavier accumulations of snow.

Forecasters have added however that it remains a tricky situation to predict, with eastern parts of the county unlikely to see more than 1cm of the white stuff in the afternoon.

Western areas of the county are more likely to see snow showers in the earlier parts of the afternoon, while the eastern areas of Suffolk and Essex could see accumulations in the evening due to a change in wind directions.

Dan Holley, meteorologist at East Anglia-based Weatherquest, said there is a chance however that snow could settle more than expected.

Mr Holley said: "The band of snow is over the western area of London at the moment and is slowly tracking its way north eastward.

"If everything goes to plan, it should creep up through north Essex by midday. Onshore winds will bring less cold air will bring less cold air off of the North Sea, so easterly areas are likely to only see sleet and rain in the afternoon.

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"More inland areas, perhaps west of Stowmarket, are more likely to see snow and accumulate, especially after last night's frost.

"The front is likely to stall over East Anglia, we don't know exactly where, but if it stalls over Suffolk we will see larger accumulations."

Mr Holley added that the predicted change of wind directions could see snow settle in eastern areas such as Ipswich tonight.

He said: "The winds will turn offshore into the evening – and as that happens we could see the sleet and rain turn into snow.

"Places in the east may only see sleet in the afternoon, but you can't rule out 1-2cm of snow in the evening, before it is cleared out of the way by midnight."

Parts of the county saw some unexpected snowfall yesterday evening and into the night, although the majority of the county woke up to a frosty morning.

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