More snow to hit region as ‘mini beast from the east’ expected to bring up to 10cm
More snow is expected over the weekend and coastal areas in the region could face up to 10cm, according to forecasters.
Another cold snap – this time dubbed the “mini beast from the east” – is set to arrive, with temperatures tumbling in Suffolk and Essex.
East Anglia could wake up to a light dusting of snow tomorrow, with showers expected overnight tonight, but there is potential for more to fall all through Saturday.
The Met Office says it currently looks unlikely to be as severe as the conditions at the start of the month, but has warned that the snow could cause some disruption.
Between 5-10cm of snow could fall in coastal areas.
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Adam Dury, forecaster at Weatherquest, said: “There is potential for some snow flurries overnight tonight and there could be a light dusting on the ground tomorrow morning.
“It will turn colder with temperatures just below freezing.
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“But there is chance of snow all through tomorrow and into Sunday as it comes in from the east. Coastal areas could see between 5-10cm of snow, but in land areas will be less affected.”
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice from 6pm today until 11.55pm on Saturday. There is also a yellow warning for snow in place on Sunday from 12.05am until 11.55pm.
An upgraded amber warning of snow and ice for Essex and Thurrock is now in place from 4pm on Saturday to 9am on Sunday.
The Met Office said: “Snow accumulations will be variable across the area as showers are expected to organise into bands.
“Whilst some areas will receive relatively small amounts of snow, narrow bands of 5-10 cm of snow are likely. Strong easterly winds will result in some drifting of lying snow, and lead to a significant wind chill. Showers are expected to become more isolated through Sunday morning.”
The cold snap has prompted Public Health England (PHE) to once again warn people to look out for others and to consider the weather forecast when planning activities.
David Edwards, consultant in health protection at PHE East, said: “The weather has felt much milder for the last week or so in the east of England but this weekend the forecasters tell us it will get much colder again.
“That may come as a shock to the system for some whose bodies may struggle to cope in cold weather.
“It’s worth remembering that cold temperatures – indoors and outdoors - can affect health, particularly in young children, older people and those with heart and lung conditions.
“So if you know someone in any of these groups, and most of us do, please keep an eye on them over the coming days.
“Pop in on vulnerable neighbours and make them a hot drink and check they’re heating their homes to at least 18C. These small things can make a big difference to someone’s health and wellbeing.”
Council help and advice
On the back of the forecast, Ipswich Borough Council has activated its emergency beds scheme for rough sleepers today until further notice.
A statement from the authority said: “The 11 cold weather beds are provided in partnership with Genesis Housing Association at Cavendish Lodge.
“Access to Cavendish Lodge is from 5pm for an initial assessment by staff, with risk assessments completed by 6pm.
“After that, access will be limited to service users being brought in by prior agreement of staff or by police.
“Accommodation also comes with an offer of housing advice to see if trained staff can provide longer term help.”
Laura Patterson, chief operational meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “A cold easterly airflow is expected to return during the weekend, likely lasting until Monday.
“At present it looks unlikely to be as severe as the conditions experienced at the start of the month, but unusually low temperatures and some snowfall are still expected.
“Widespread frost, low daytime temperatures and a significant wind chill are likely to develop. Snowfall looks likely across high ground in the north-east Friday into Saturday, with snow showers following behind and affecting low-lying areas, especially in the south and east.”
In Essex, Tendring District Council confirmed that they were prepared for any snowfall and asked that residents make sure they have a few basic supplies in case they can’t get out.
Lynda McWilliams, TDC Cabinet Member for Emergency Planning, said the Council had not yet moved off its winter footing.
“While it has been some time since we have seen so much snowfall in one winter, and so late into the year, we at TDC are still prepared,” she said.
“This upcoming potential snow is not expected to be as severe as that which started the month, but it is still sensible for people to take precautions as the weather is notoriously liable to change, and quickly.
“The Council is still ready for snowfall, particularly on the back of the first so-called ‘Beast from the East’, and encourage the community to also be prepared.”
Highways England have warned people to take care and be prepared before setting out on journeys this weekend.
Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said:
“Our gritter drivers will be out treating our roads around the clock but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast.
“Make sure you keep your distance and reduce your speed if you need to travel because, even in conditions that seem normal and when the snow is not settling, it can be slippery if ice patches have formed, or where fresh salt has not been worked into the carriageway.
“Drivers should plan their journeys, monitor weather reports and pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel if they really need to travel.”
A number of events have also been cancelled in anticipation of this weekend’s weather.
The Battle of the Knights event in Barrow, that was due to take place on Sunday, has been postponed because of health and safety concerns.
Similarly the Comic Hero Run, being raced for the St Helena Hospice, has been postponed until April 8.