Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Wintry weather set to continue

Forecasters are predicting the severe weather could return on Good Friday

The battle against dangerously wintry weather is set to continue across much of the UK, forecasters have warned.

The Met Office extended its level 3 cold weather alert until Friday as hundreds of homes remained without power, many high-level transport routes stayed impassible and farmers battled with deep snow to keep livestock alive.

A Met Office warning stated: "Bitterly cold easterly winds will persist this week, bringing snow showers to north-east England and light snow flurries across other areas of England.

"With lying snow and partial snow melt during the daytimes, icy conditions are likely during the nights."

The Met Office also issued fresh yellow warnings of snow and ice, while the AA said its patrols have faced a "winter war zone" over the last few days.

The breakdown firm said it has dealt with more than 1,100 call-outs to people who have got stuck in snow, ice or floodwater since Thursday - including more than 150 on Monday.

The continuing Arctic conditions are in stark contrast to this week last year when headlines proclaimed Britain hotter than Madrid or California, with sun-seekers heading to the beach to enjoy an early spring heatwave.

On March 24 last year, Porthmadog in North Wales saw the warmest temperature, reaching 21.7C (71F) - making it hotter than Madrid, Rome, Athens, Barcelona and Monte Real in Portugal.

Now, the odds are shortening on the first white Easter in five years, just as the clocks are due to go forward for British Summer Time.

Nick Prebble, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division for the Press Association, said the cold weather was expected to last for at least a few more days, although there will be a respite from the heavy snowfalls.