Region braced for big freeze

FREEZING conditions are set to grip the region for the rest of the week, the EADT's weatherman has warned.Ken Blowers said there was no sign of any respite from the cold spell, which saw temperatures fall to –2C(30F) on Sunday night.

By Jonathan Barnes

FREEZING conditions are set to grip the region for the rest of the week, the EADT's weatherman has warned.

Ken Blowers said there was no sign of any respite from the cold spell, which saw temperatures fall to -2C(30F) on Sunday night.

He predicted a sprinkling of snow showers, rain and sleet for the rest of the week, with cold winds sweeping across the region.


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The temperature was likely to have risen slightly last night, to around freezing point, but an area of cloud coming down from the north will keep the region shivering.

Mr Blowers said there would be cold northerly winds and snow showers from tomorrow until the end of the week.

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"There could well be another covering of snow, but the sun is so strong at the end of February that it will quickly go," he said.

"The temperature in the day will be about 3C(38F) but it feel like it is freezing because of the wind chill effect.

"It will feel like it's freezing all day. It's not looking very good at all for people who don't like cold weather - and there's only a 50/50 chance of it getting better at the end of the week."

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said: "Our gritters and snowclearing teams are on constant standby and our contractors are receiving up-to-the-minute weather reports.

"We will have our gritting fleet out on England's motorways and other strategic roads in preparation for the cold snap.

"Since the start of this winter we have dealt with some serious weather conditions on the roads. All motorways and trunk roads will be pre-salted and we will do our best to ensure all motorways and trunk roads in England remain open during the bad conditions.'

"We would like to remind drivers to check forecasts before travelling and to drive according to the conditions. If the weather conditions deteriorate, drivers should consider whether their journey is really necessary."

The agency yesterday produced its new weapon in the fight against the freeze.

That is Safecote, a natural sugar-based product that is environmentally friendly and less corrosive was now being added to the traditional salt used for tackling icy roads.

The product has been trialled in the UK by leading road maintenance contractor Atkins with "great success", the agency said.

The substance has proved to be 82% less corrosive to gritting lorries and structures such as bridges and barriers, as well as more effective at preventing ice on roads.

The product is also proving cheaper to use as, although it costs slightly more than salt, up to 30% less Safecote is needed to apply to highways because it adheres better than salt.

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