UK weather: Snow and ice still causing disruption

Walderslade Woods Road, in Walderslade, Kent Image copyright Gareth Fuller/PA
Image caption The A2045 in Walderslade is closed due to falling trees

Freezing temperatures are continuing to disrupt travel and sports events.

A number of League One and League Two football matches have been postponed, some roads remain closed and hundreds of homes are without power.

Parts of southern England saw 19cm (7.5in) of snow on Friday, with motorists stuck in vehicles overnight and falling trees blocking train lines.

Temperatures could fall as low as -16C (3F) on Saturday night, with the Met Office warning of icy conditions.

Highways England said police had worked until 02:00 GMT on Saturday to free vehicles from the M3 near Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Robert Bell, Highways England South East operations manager, said: “We have every sympathy for drivers who found themselves stranded in the severe weather.

“Safety is our top priority and our teams of gritters and snow ploughs, supported by our traffic officers, worked through the night to keep the roads treated.”

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Media captionAmbulance rescued on snowy road in Basingstoke

Up to 1,500 people are without power in the Basingstoke area following the heavy snowfall.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said engineers were struggling to reach “fault locations… with snowdrifts of up to 5ft in places” but hoped to have power restored to all affected homes by Saturday afternoon.

The area bore the brunt of Friday’s snowfall, with drivers abandoning vehicles and the local hospital urging people not to use the A&E department if possible.

Kent County Council said they had 18 tree surgeons working to clear the A2045 where a number of trees were brought down by the weight of the snow.

Overnight sleet and snow in the county on Friday hampered efforts to free drivers trapped on the roads, with police reporting an “incredibly busy night”.

The A2045 in Walderslade was not expected to be open again until Sunday afternoon.

In the West Country, Bristol Airport – which closed its runway on Friday – said there may be some further delays due to the de-icing of runways.

Cardiff Airport was also anticipating some disruption “due to adverse weather”.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice across southern parts of the UK from 16:00 GMT on Saturday to late Sunday morning.

It said, while most areas would be dry, temperatures are expected to fall rapidly after dark with wet surfaces refreezing, meaning an increased likelihood of accidents due to icy surfaces.

Sports fixtures postponed

The weather has also affected this weekend’s football programme.

Six English Football League matches have been postponed because of snow and freezing conditions in the UK, including one League One match, Accrington v Blackpool, and five league two matches.

Five Scottish League One and Two matches have also been postponed.

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Media captionIs more snow and ice on the way? Check out the latest forecast

What’s the weekend forecast?

BBC weather presenter Helen Willetts said there was lying snow in many parts of the UK, and the ice risk remained high through Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

Snow showers would ease in the later part of the day, but the weather is expected to turn very cold overnight, with experts predicting “the coldest night of the winter so far”.

Temperatures even in cities such as London and Birmingham could fall to a “very unusual” -4 or -5, with -12 expected over the snowfields in Scotland.

However Sunday will mark “a day of change” with milder air pushing in bringing heavy rain and some windy conditions in the coming week.

Temperatures fell to their lowest level this winter in the early hours of Friday, with Braemar, Aberdeenshire, dropping to -15.4C (6F).

This is the lowest in the UK since 2012 – when temperatures fell to -15.6C in Holbeach, Lincolnshire.

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Image copyright Gareth Fuller/PA
Image caption The A2045 in Walderslade is closed due to falling trees

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