Ice warnings as snow disrupts weekend

Image copyright PA
Image caption A man clears snow in a street in Westbury, Wiltshire, on Saturday morning

Weather warnings for ice have been issued for Saturday afternoon and evening in parts of England as wintry conditions continue to affect the UK.

The Met Office is advising care as snow is expected to melt during the day and freeze as temperatures drop.

Eastern and southern England are braced for their coldest night of the winter, with -12C (10F) forecast, while parts of Scotland could see similar lows.

The freezing weather has disrupted travel and sports events.

A number of football matches, in League One and League Two and the Scottish League One and Two, have been postponed, and some roads remain closed.

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Thames Valley Police say they rescued an eight-week-old baby from a vehicle which came off a road in icy conditions in Bracknell, Berkshire, on Friday night, and ended up in a ditch.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Officers rescued a baby from this vehicle in Bracknell after it came off an icy stretch of road

Meanwhile, a woman who went to the aid of a dog after it fell into a frozen river in Haddington, East Lothian, has been rescued by emergency services. She was helped off the ice on the River Tyne but the dog could not be saved.

Kent County Council said they had 18 tree surgeons working to clear the A2045 in Walderslade, where a number of trees were brought down by the weight of the snow and drivers were left trapped in their cars overnight. The road is not expected to reopen until Sunday afternoon.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice across southern and eastern parts of the UK from 16:00 GMT on Saturday to 11:00 on Sunday morning.

It said that 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.

The cold weather is forecast to continue in parts of central and southern Scotland where a yellow warning has been issued for between midnight and 14:00 GMT on Monday, with the snow and ice expected to hit the morning commute.

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

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

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionAmbulance rescued on snowy road in Basingstoke

Up to 1,500 people were without left power in the Basingstoke area of Hampshire – but power was restored around lunchtime.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said its engineers had struggled to reach “fault locations… with snowdrifts of up to 5ft in places”.

Bristol Airport – which closed its runway on Friday – saw some delays on Saturday morning because of the de-icing of runways but a full flight schedule was in operation.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption The A96 was open on Saturday morning but police said conditions were treacherous
Image copyright PA
Image caption The village of Rowde and surrounding fields in Wiltshire remains covered in a blanket of snow
Image copyright PA
Image caption Cars were left abandoned at the side of roads near Maidstone in Kent

The A96 in the north east of Scotland was blocked overnight after a lorry jackknifed just south of Keith in Moray on Friday afternoon.

Police said three other lorries got into difficulties further south on the same road on Saturday.

Sports fixtures postponed

Six English Football League matches have been postponed because of snow and freezing conditions, including one League One match, Accrington v Blackpool, and five League Two games.

Five Scottish League One and Two matches have also been called off.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ground staff make sure Scotland’s Six Nations clash with Italy can go ahead – but a host of sporting fixtures have been cancelled

Meanwhile, skiers and snowboarders have been warned against taking to the streets in urban areas.

Daniel Loots, from the Ski Club of Great Britain, said he advised against skiing or snowboarding on the street or pavement as “although it looks fun it’s pretty dangerous”.

His advice was to stick to the countryside and parks.

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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 Mel Coles 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” in England, where temperatures in areas where snow has fallen could dip to -12C.

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

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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