Snowy start predicted to New Year

By Mark HeathTHIS New Year will no doubt bring hope and happiness to many - but the first few days of 2004 are also likely to bring snow, rain and ice-cold weather.

By Mark Heath

THIS New Year will no doubt bring hope and happiness to many - but the first few days of 2004 are also likely to bring snow, rain and ice-cold weather.

The Met Office issued last night an advance weather warning, with heavy snow and blizzards expected to affect East Anglia in the early hours of today.

As well as warning drivers to take extra care in the sub-zero conditions, the Highways Agency also placed its fleet of road gritters on standby for the cold snap.

Jim Bacon, a forecaster for Norwich-based Weatherquest, said the freezing winter weather was likely to set in until tomorrow.

He added: “What we are looking at is a mixture of rain and snow on New Year's Eve and there could well be a period where we see some reasonably heavy snowfall.

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“That should move away to the East on the afternoon of New Year's Day, but then we are likely to see some more snow in the early hours of Friday morning, which will start frosty and icy.

“It is certainly going to be a cold and unsettled start to the New Year. Even places that don't see snow will definitely get a lot of rain and cold weather.”

The Highways Agency urged motorists planning to take to the road today to make sure they were prepared for the adverse conditions and warned it can take 10 times longer to stop their vehicles in icy conditions.

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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