Weather ‘beast’ tamed, but still has a cold bite

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WEATHER experts believe the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ may be tamer than initially feared – but have nevertheless warned of chilly temperatures and wintry showers in Suffolk and Essex this week.

Reports of a 7,000-mile wide Siberian weather front bringing freezing fog and Arctic winds have been succeeded by forecasts of cool northerly air accompanied by the odd localised burst of sleet and snow.

Weatherquest expert Jim Bacon said yesterday’s mild weather was a misleading forerunner for a cold few days. He added: “The air will be cold enough for sleet and snow.

“By Wednesday, there may not be quite as many showers, but the middle of the week will bring sharp frosts at night and icy roads to contend with.

“It will turn milder by the end of the week but will become wet and windy.”

Damp and breezy conditions are expected to continue into next week but sleet and snowfall should remain largely scattered.

Meteorologists see the current weather as fairly typical for this time of year, with low pressure moving across Britain and picking up cold air.

It follows a cold week which saw Suffolk and Essex experience their first snow of the winter.

The snowfall caused a string of problems on the roads, with a number of crashes on major routes. There was also gridlock in Colchester on Wednesday as drivers struggled through the icy conditions.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust appealed to people to use common sense in the adverse weather conditions. Glenn Young, head of the trust’s health and emergency operations centres, said: “While the snowy and icy conditions continue to present a hazard, particularly on smaller roads and side streets, motorists should remain particularly careful.”

Mr Young added: “The public should wear appropriate footwear whilst out in icy and snowy conditions to avoid injury especially on ungritted surfaces, and wrap up warm when going outside.”

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