Smoothing out the cracks

Are we the only ones slightly relieved at the current rainy weather? While a certain interest in snow and ice goes with the territory on this blog, it is nice to see some greenery and not have to worry about freezing temperatures for a while.

A road that’s seen better days (though this isn’t in Norfolk we might add!). Credit: Gregory Williams

But with the thaw another problem may be becoming apparent – potholes.

One of the most common ways that potholes are created is by ice forming in small cracks in the road. Water expands as it solidifies, forcing the cracks to widen and the surface to become uneven. On roads these continue to widen as vehicles travel over them and chip more of the top surface off.

So after the big freeze we experienced earlier this month, some of our roads may have suffered a bit.

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Enjoy a flying visit this weekend

Over the last few years, if we mentioned the word tweet most of you would think of followers, trends and #norfolkwinter (we hope!) sooner than bird noises.

The chaffinch is one of many birds you might spot during the Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend.

The chaffinch is one of many birds you might spot during the Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend. Credit: Andy Hay

But that could all change this weekend, when birdwatchers will be out in their thousands. This winter’s been a particularly good one for twitchers in Norfolk, with birds flying into back gardens in search of food because of the cold weather (keep reading to the bottom for more on that…).

That’s why the RSPB in the East is expecting a bumper winter for bird spotting for their annual Big Garden Birdwatch. It’s just one of many events they’re putting on about our feathered friends this weekend, as they explain.

Every year for one weekend only, the RSPB hold their Big Garden Birdwatch, where people across the UK can take part in the world’s biggest wildlife survey, and once again we’d like you to be a part of it.

Last year 15,000 Norfolk residents went outside for a spot of twitching and it doesn’t matter whether you’re at home with the family, with classmates at school or with friends in the beer garden of the local pub; so long as there are birds around you can get involved in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2013.

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Winter’s tale not over yet

Can anyone remember what Norfolk looked like before it turned white? After so many days of snow on the ground we’re beginning to forget – and there may be a little more to come overnight.

A back garden in Norwich this afternoon showing just how much snow the city has had. Credit: JasonBrown2013

A back garden in Norwich this afternoon showing just how much snow the city has had. Credit: JasonBrown2013

The Met Office has issued a warning for ice and snow for the rest of the day, although we shouldn’t experience the kind of heavy snowfall that we had last night. Generally snow is expected to be light, with sleet showers looking possible in coastal areas. It will be cold tonight though, which will lead to patches of freezing fog forming and icy conditions, particularly on untreated surfaces.

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Snow, socks, pipes and pics

What a week it’s been! From blizzard conditions to Norfolk recording the official UK lowest temperature of the winter so far (-13°C in Marham), winter has certainly had our county in its icy grip.

A tree near Carleton Forehoe in the snow. Credit: Silas Slack.

A tree near Carleton Forehoe in the snow on Thursday. Credit: Silas Slack.

Yesterday saw more snow for most parts of Norfolk, and much of the UK for that matter. Some of you might have seen the BBC’s special news programme about the snow last night, in which weather forecaster John Hammond explained why it’s so cold and snowy at the moment and also gave an indication of how long this kind of weather’s going to stick around. You can watch and listen to this part of the programme here.

There may be some further snow showers in pretty much any part of the county today, but as temperatures continue to struggle to get out of minus figures, even during the day, the bigger concern today is ice.

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Prepare for a white and windy weekend

The sun’s been out and we haven’t had any significant snowfall since Tuesday. But if you’re looking forward to the prospect of the weather getting back to normal then we’re afraid we’ll have to be the bearers of bad news: there’s more on the way.

The sun setting in Carleton Forehoe, near Barnham Broom, this evening. Credit: Silas Slack

The sun setting in Carleton Forehoe, near Barnham Broom, this evening. Credit: Silas Slack

Tonight sees the return of snow showers, which will be less frequent after midnight but will then return tomorrow morning and continue pretty much throughout the day. The Met Office is issuing a yellow warning for snow for the majority of the region tomorrow with the heaviest stuff falling on the coast. We may end tomorrow with 8cm of fresh snow on the ground.

This snowfall has led the Met Office to also offer a warning for ice on Saturday and Sunday morning. And while Tuesday’s storm was fairly concentrated, this fresh burst is expected to be much more widespread so it’s safe to expect snow wherever you are.

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Helping you plough on through the snow

Yesterday saw one of the fiercest local snowstorms in recent memory blow through central and northern areas of Norfolk and the latest weather news is that we’re expecting more snow on the way.

Norwich Cathedral surrounded by a white landscape after yesterday's heavy snowfall. Credit: mira66

Norwich Cathedral surrounded by a white landscape after yesterday’s heavy snowfall. Credit: mira66

It’s unlikely that there will be more than a few scattered snow showers tonight but it’s going to remain very cold, potentially dropping to as low as -10°C. However, snowfall is looking probable tomorrow night and the Met Office have issued a weather warning for snow on Friday, so make sure you’re as prepared as possible for this over the next couple of days.

The weekend is going to bring more snow, particularly during Saturday and temperatures aren’t looking like they’re going to creep above zero very much in the coming days so the current blanket of snow and ice could be here for a while yet. For a more detailed overview, check out the Met Office five-day forecast for your region by typing in your postcode.

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Keep one step ahead of the snow

Has it been snowing where you are? We’ve got snow settling outside the window at Norfolk Winter HQ now, not too much yet but it’s still coming down…

If you haven’t seen snow falling already today, there’s a good chance you’ll see some before the night’s over, and it could be heavy – the Met Office has forecast that as much as 5-10cm is possible in some parts of the county.

Nottingham Way...not from this winter we admit but a shot from 2010 in the Norfolk Winter Flickr group. Don't forget you can add yours to the group too if you're out taking snaps. Credit: Gerry Balding.

Nottingham Way…not from this winter we admit but a shot from 2010 in the Norfolk Winter Flickr group. Don’t forget you can add yours to the group too if you’re out taking snaps. Credit: Gerry Balding.

Our gritting teams get expert forecasts to help them plan when and where they should grit, and with the chance of disruptive amounts of snow, we thought we’d share this information with you so you can make informed decisions before travelling.

The forecasts tell us that sleet and snow could continue for the early part of tonight across the county, although they’re expected to become a little lighter. The snow should largely fizzle out after midnight, although there’s the chance of a sleet or snow shower. The temperatures are likely to fall below zero with ice and frost forming.

There may be further snow and sleet showers tomorrow morning and, at the moment, the Met Office are predicting more snow on Wednesday and Friday of this week as well, click here and type in your postcode for their five-day forecast for where you live for more details.

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