UK weather: Snow and ice warnings remain with hundreds of schools closed

9 February 2021, 07:12 | Updated: 9 February 2021, 08:46

Hundreds of schools remain closed across the UK
Hundreds of schools remain closed across the UK. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Snow and ice warnings remain in place for most of England and Scotland, with hundreds of schools forced to remain closed, as Storm Darcy shows no sign of relenting.

Hundreds of schools in Norfolk and Suffolk and around 50 in Essex are closed to all pupils today, including the children of key workers, due to the weather.

The Met Office has yellow warnings for snow and ice until Wednesday across much of eastern England including London, the South East and the North East.

It has advised that journeys will likely take longer journey by road, bus and rail, and cautioning people to be wary of slipping on ice.

A more severe amber warning for snow is in place, in effect until 9pm, for Scotland between Glasgow and Edinburgh and north to Perth.

Much of the UK will face a second day of heavy snow
Much of the UK will face a second day of heavy snow. Picture: PA
People walk through Storm Darcy snowfall in Hyde Park in London
People walk through Storm Darcy snowfall in Hyde Park in London. Picture: PA

Around 5cm-15cm (2in-6in) is set to hit the east of England, while in areas covered by an amber warning, the snow could reach up to 25cm (10in) in the worst-affected areas.

The Met Office says people in affected areas of Scotland can expect delays on roads as snow continues in the morning, likely leading to vehicles and passengers being stranded.

Delays and cancellations are also predicted for rail and air travel, some rural communities could be cut off, with power cuts and disruption to mobile phone coverage also likely.

While snowfalls for most of Britain are expected to ease on Tuesday, snow showers in many northern and eastern parts of Britain are forecast, reaching depths of 15cm (6 inches) in places.

A yellow warning for snow and ice also remains current for the southern half of Northern Ireland.

Storm Darcy has brought havoc to many parts of the country, with police in parts of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex on Monday advising against driving as roads became "impassable" due to settled snow.

In Norfolk, one driver had to be dug out of his car after it became trapped in a snowdrift.

National Rail warned services in various parts of the country were likely to be affected, train operator Southern Rail announced service cancellations in south-east London, while networks in Kent and Essex also closed lines.

Transport Scotland has warned of long delays as well as cancellations to bus and rail services.

Several Covid-19 vaccination centres were forced to close yesterday, including Clacton Hospital, Colchester United's stadium, Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich and Chevington Close in Bury St Edmunds, and a number of schools were closed across the south-east of England and Lincolnshire.

At least eight vaccination centres will remain shut on Tuesday in Suffolk and Essex, including Clacton Hospital, Gainsborough Sports Centre, Ipswich Jobserve Community Stadium, Colchester Chevington Close, Bury St. Edmunds, Debenham Community Centre, Trinity Park, near Ipswich, The Mix, Stowmarket and Woodbridge Community Hall.

The cold snap is expected to continue into the middle of the week with plummeting temperatures, coupled with strong winds leading to a significant wind chill.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said "temperatures would dip to -10C", with further weather warnings expected.

He said: "Many places will see further snow accumulations with a few centimetres likely quite widely."Some areas will see larger accumulations with 20cm or more possible for some.

"Convergence lines, where showers organise into bands, becoming heavy and persistent, are likely to drive these larger accumulations and further warnings are likely to be issued as the locations affected become clearer."