DEVON IS on the alert for snow and ice tomorrow (Friday 18 January) and over the weekend. With temperatures dropping as low as -3 C, the Met Office has issued an amber warning for the South West, saying that snow is expected. And Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and the Highways Agency are advising residents to be aware of travel disruption…
The Met Office issued its amber warning for "cold weather action" at 8.30am. It says that a band of heavy rain will be spreading east this evening, turning to snow inland, especially in East Devon. Significant accumulations of snow are possible, with temperatures falling as low as -3 C.
The cold conditions will continue on Friday, with strong winds and heavy snow for many, especially in the east of the region. Snow will turn to rain near the coast and in the west of the region. Temperatures will rise no higher than 8 C.
It will be less cold over the weekend. Cloudy conditions, with patchy rain and hill snow, are forecast for Saturday. It's exected to be mostly dry but perhaps brighter on Sunday, before rain spreads northeast overnight. This could increasingly turn to snow on Monday.
Devon County Council, the Highways Agency, and Devon and Cornwall Police are advising residents to be aware of the potential of travel disruption on Devon's roads. Higher ground in East Devon, Dartmoor and Exmoor could be worst affected, with the risk of between 5cm and 10cm of snow.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "I would urge everyone to take extra care on the county's roads and footways. Our highways teams are prepared for the possibility of snow and ice and gritters will be responding as required to treat our precautionary salting routes. Every effort is always made to keep highways as clear as possible and keep Devon moving, however people are travelling.
"The combination of rain, sleet or snow, and freezing temperatures could make travelling conditions hazardous, particularly on more minor roads. At this stage we would urge everyone to be aware, keep an eye on the forecast and be prepared if you are travelling. And remember that ice can even form on roads which have been treated."
Devon County Council, Highways Agency and Devon and Cornwall Police have issued the following advice for motorists:
- Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with less traffic and colder temperatures;
- Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that showers or rain will wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice, and in extreme cold even salting will not stop ice from forming;
- Allow additional time for your journey and reduce your speed;
- Drive with care and according to the conditions;
- If you have vulnerable or elderly neighbours, think about how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell;
- Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions.