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Ice to follow the snow

As accurately forecast by the Met Office an active frontal system moved in from the west overnight into Friday and brought widespread snow across many parts of the UK.

As expected 5 to 10 cm of snow settled across much of the West Country and parts of the Midlands with up to 25 cm of snow reported at Sennybridge, Powys and 16 cm at Dunkeswell, Devon.

Phil Evans, Met Office Director of Government Services, said: "Based on the forecasts and warnings from the Met Office, local councils, emergency services and highways authorities have been working around the clock to minimise the impacts of today's heavy snow.

"For example, highways authorities have deployed gritters and snow clearing equipment across the road network, Heathrow airport has activated their snow plan to minimise disruption to passengers and Age UK have had volunteers out helping older people across the country."

As the snow eases across many areas, ice is expected to become the main hazard over the weekend and yellow warnings have been issued across much of Britain.

Severe weather warnings help us all plan, prepare and protect ourselves and others from the impacts of severe weather. A yellow warning means we should be aware that severe weather is forecast and should plan ahead to take account of possible travel delays or disruption.

Frank Saunders, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said: "Although some further slight snowfalls are likely, with 1 to 2 cm of fresh snow in a few places, the focus switches to ice, with temperatures staying below zero over snow cover for many areas.

"The public should be aware of the risk of localised disruption to transport during this spell of wintry weather."

Steve Crosthwaite, head of the Highways Agency's National Traffic Operations Centre, said: "We advise drivers to check road conditions and the Met Office weather forecast before they set off and during severe weather to consider whether their journey is essential. They may want to delay their travel until conditions improve and to allow our winter fleet the chance to treat the roads.

"Our traffic officers are working round the clock to monitor the network, deal with any incidents and keep traffic moving."

Over the weekend we will see less severe conditions across the UK but further outbreaks of sleet and snow are possible in places - perhaps especially over the southeast and east of England on Sunday.

By thinking ahead we can all be better prepared for severe weather. Throughout the winter, the Met Office works with agencies across the UK to help keep the country safe, well and on the move.

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