Snowfall warning issued for parts of the North East - GALLERY

MORE than 10cm (four inches) of snow was predicted for parts of the North East today as the cold snap continued.

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MORE than 10cm (four inches) of snow was predicted for parts of the North East today as the cold snap continued.

Some parts of the region saw more than 30cm (12ins) fall on Friday and Saturday as temperatures barely got above freezing, with north Northumberland the worst hit.

A Met Office amber warning for snow and ice was in place for the North East today and will remain in force until tomorrow morning, when it will be downgraded to a yellow warning.

The public were advised to be aware of the risk of disruption to travel as heavy snow was expected to last well into the morning rush hour.

All roads in the Northumbria Police area were last night open but motorists were advised to drive only if necessary and to take extreme care.

A number of flights out of Newcastle Airport, including those to Heathrow, Amsterdam and Paris, were cancelled yesterday and passengers were advised to go to the airport’s web page for information on today’s flights. A Met Office spokesman said a band of snow would push north from the South East, reaching the region in the early hours of this morning.

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Between 2cm (one inch) and 5cm (two inches) was predicted on lower ground and more than 10cm (four inches) on higher ground, with temperatures dipping to -2C.

The spokesman said: “Snow will become heavier and more persistent overnight with a minimum temperature -2 C (28F).

“Today, it will be cloudy with persistent snow for much of the day, although continuing as rain or sleet near the coast.

“Significant falls are likely, especially over hills with drifting possible in brisk winds. The maximum temperature will be one degree.”

Northumbria Police issued advice for motorists. A spokesperson for the force said: “Although all roads across the force area are open and passable, heavy snow and ice could still cause drivers problems. Moderate your speed and try not to brake sharply, use the gears instead to decelerate.

“Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front – stopping distances are longer on wet or icy roads.

“Ensure you have adequate visibility by clearing front and back windscreens and all windows and wing mirrors before setting off.

“Check local media reports and make sure you have warm clothes, food, water, boots, torch and a spade in your vehicle.”

The freezing temperatures over the weekend also prompted motoring organisations to issue warnings.

Darron Burness, the AA’s head of special operations, said: “With the snow compacting down and turning icy, we’re likely to see treacherous driving conditions. Any fresh snow on top will just add to the problems.”

Yesterday, the Great North Air Ambulance was called out to two separate sledging accidents.

The first happened when a girl fell off a sledge in a field in Great Ayton, in North Yorkshire. She was airlifted to Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital suffering from a leg injury.

The second happened near to Flatts Lane Country Park, in Middlesbrough, shortly after 1pm. A 16-year-old boy suffered serious head injuries when he fell off a sledge at speed. He was taken to the same hospital and his condition last night was life-threatening.

:: Follow our live travel blog here: http://bit.ly/journaltravel and check out our list of North East school closures here: http://bit.ly/journalschoolclosures

:: Email your snow pictures to: ncj.pics@trinitymirror.com

 

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