With a respite from widespread rain, sleet and snow due, the gritters are out on all county gritting routes now (from 2pm) ahead of another cold, blustery and wintry evening and night.
Further sleet and snow showers are possible between now and tomorrow morning, particularly in the north and east of the county where one to two centimetres of snow may settle (most likely after 7pm tonight). There will also be clear spells and it will remain windy, so we’re in for a very cold night, with road surface temperatures falling to -3 or 4°C in some areas.
The gritters will be going out again at 3am ahead of another cold day tomorrow and more sleet and snow showers may fall, with the risk greatest near the coast.
It’s been snowing in Norwich for the last hour or so and it’s settling now – the photo
shows the wintry scene outside County Hall just before 11am this morning.
The gritters were out in force across the county last night and this morning. They did back-to-back runs from early evening yesterday and went out again at 3am this morning – that’s a total of around nine hours of gritting per gritter truck, and they were spreading the maximum amount of salt they can. The roads on our gritting routes that I saw this morning looked in good shape, hopefully this is true across the county and people’s journeys this morning weren’t too difficult.
In my earlier update I let you know that we’ll be gritting all usual gritting routes in the county this evening, with additional runs later tonight and in the early hours of tomorrow morning if needed.
Our forecaster has updated us this afternoon to say they don’t expect much in the way of snow in Norfolk tonight now, rain and sleet is more likely and they think this will clear the county by around 8pm. However, snow still cannot be ruled out and freezing temperatures are forecast just about everywhere in Norfolk from 7/8pm onwards so ice is likely to be a problem on roads overnight and into tomorrow morning, especially as most roads will be wet from the rain and wintry showers this afternoon.
We’ve also had an update that we may get some snow tomorrow morning, most likely between around 7 and 9am – unfortunately just when many of you will be leaving for work or school. This is likely to be wet snow apparently, so the chances of it settling are lower, but with snow and ice both potentially in the mix, any journeys made in the morning will almost certainly be more difficult than usual.
At present, we know most parts of Norfolk are going to get quite a bit of rain this afternoon. What isn’t as clear is whether some of it may fall as sleet or snow – if this does happen, it’s more likely during the early evening and there is a chance the snow could settle, although probably not in large amounts (but don’t hold me to this, it’s all a bit up in the air). Temperatures are then likely to fall away to around or below freezing this evening, which means wet road surfaces will freeze.
We’re advising everyone to keep a close eye on the weather forecast over the next few days and be ready to react, as stormy and wintry weather is expected to arrive in the county from tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.
In addition to the prospect of snow, strong winds and low temperatures are also forecast over the next few days, with wind chill making it feel even colder. Road surface temperatures are due to dip below freezing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and therefore any rain or wintry showers that fall are likely to freeze, which could lead to icy roads, pavements and cycle paths and make journeys treacherous.
Norfolk County Council’s gritting teams are going out at 7pm tonight (Wednesday) on all
usual county gritting routes and are standing by to go out again at 3am if necessary as road surface temperatures are due to fall to around freezing across Norfolk overnight, with rain and sleet likely tomorrow. The gritters are ready to go out as often as required over the next few days.
The Giving Tree, pictured right, is in the Castle Street store and is decorated with tags, each representing a child in care in Norfolk and a book they would like to receive this Christmas. Visitors to Waterstones choose a tag, find a book that fits the bill and buys it to be given to the child to open on Christmas Day. Isn’t that a lovely thing?
When I went in yesterday there were only about a dozen tags left on the tree, which is great news as they need to be bought by Sunday 4 December, in order to reach the children in time for Christmas. We really don’t want any of the children to go without though so if you’re late night shopping in Norwich tonight and want to support the Giving Tree appeal, please do drop into Waterstones (it’s open till 9pm tonight) and see how many tags there are left – the Giving Tree is in the children’s book section. There may still be tags left at the weekend too.
The Giving Tree appeal is organised by Norfolk County Council’s Virtual School for Children in Care, whose role is to monitor the progress of all looked after children in Norfolk and ensure they have the best possible education.
Thank you to everyone who has already bought a book for a child in care for Christmas. Many of these children and young people have had a very difficult start to life, so the generosity of people in Norfolk to get them a present they want will almost certainly make a big difference.
Norwich Park & Ride is running some extra late night bus services on Thursdays in December, as well as additional Sunday services – you can find out more here.
Welcome to the Norfolk Winter blog, which we’ll once again be updating regularly with information that to help you and those around you stay healthy, happy and safe during the colder months.
It seemed an apt day to start blogging again, sandwiched as we are between the coldest night so far this season last night (temperatures got down to around minus five degrees celsius in some places I believe) and 1st December tomorrow, which a lot of people think of as the official start of winter.
Remember, you can stay up to date with when our gritters are going out on social media – we tweet a daily update using the #norfolkwinter hashtag and also let you know what our gritters are doing every day on our Norfolk Facebook page. If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter, you can see our latest #norfolkwinter tagged tweets, including gritting updates, on the homepage of this blog, www.norfolkwinter.com.
You might have seen or heard reports of the Met Office predicting a colder winter than normal – this needs to be taken with some caution as they say themselves the accuracy of forecasting the weather beyond five days is very difficult. At present, the Met Office is saying that the end of December is likely to be colder than average across the UK, but they can’t provide any more localised information than that.
Looking forward to giving you lots of useful advice and information over the next few months – we’ll try our best to make this winter as easy as possible for everyone.