Heavy snow on its way

READY: A gritter
READY: A gritter
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Heavy snow and icy conditions are predicted in Preston on Friday.

The Met Office believes the city will experience heavy snowfall from 3pm, which will turn into sleet later on tonight.

Freezing temperatures are expected to continue overnight, while heavy rainfall is anticipated tomorrow.

Forecasters have issued a ‘yellow’ alert warning for Central Lancashire.

A Met Office spokesman said: “Further snowfall is likely to spread from the west, as another weather front moves across the UK from the Atlantic. Around 2-5cm is likely in the south of the yellow warning area, with 5cm or more further north.

“Strong winds will also lead to drifting, particularly over higher level roads in the north.

“The public should be aware of possible disruption, particularly to travel.”

Lancashire County Council said its gritting teams had treated secondary roads and priority pavements in town and city centres yesterday.

A spokesman for the council said it was retaining these teams at its depots overnight, ready to go out this morning ahead of the snowfall.

The Highways Agency said it had postponed overnight resurfacing work in some areas, including repairs near Junction 40 of the M6 in Cumbria.

Darron Burness, the AA’s head of special operations, said ice would be the biggest hazard over the next few days.

He said: “Even if your car’s thermometer shows the air temperature above freezing, bear in mind that the ground takes longer to thaw out, so ice is still a risk.

“Stick to the gritted main roads where possible and check the Met Office weather alerts and traffic reports before departing.”

The Met Office said there were signs that the cold air over Britain would be replaced by milder air from the Atlantic over the weekend.

Experts think this will introduce outbreaks of rain and strong winds but also some drier brighter conditions at times.

With the resulting combination of a thaw of lying snow and the risk of heavy rain, there is an increased risk of flooding in some areas.

The Met Office and Environment Agency are monitoring the situation and have advised people to stay up to date with the latest weather forecasts, severe weather warnings, and flood warnings.