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.

The Met Office has a severe weather warning that covers the whole of Norfolk for ice, and while reports suggest that the main roads are in pretty good shape, you’ll still need to drive to the road conditions ahead of you and take particular care and slow your speed right down on untreated roads. Here’s where you can find which roads are on the County Council’s main gritting routes, and do a postcode search for nearby roads that are being regularly gritted.

A fieldfare fighting a blackbird for an apple in Langham in north Norfolk earlier this week. Credit: Dave Curtis

A fieldfare fighting a blackbird for an apple in Langham in north Norfolk earlier this week. Credit: Dave Curtis

For walkers who’ve found it difficult getting around these past few days, this Guardian article from 2010 suggests wearing thick socks over shoes, while it might look a bit silly, may be an inexpensive way to help improve grip. Or there are special ‘ice grips’ for shoes that are available to buy from many high street shops and online. Remember, there are more than 1,200 grit bins across the county that are there for members of the public to make use of on pavements and roads (but not private property). There’s more on these in our blog post from Thursday.

Joining ice in the Met Office’s severe weather warning for Sunday is – no prizes for guessing – more snow. A band of snow is predicted to move up from the south during the day and will affect eastern counties of England, probably reaching Norfolk from late afternoon. This could be pretty heavy at times, leading to up to another 5cm settling by midnight, and currently further snowfall is forecast for us on Monday.

The Mother & Child sculpture in the Upper Close, Norwich this morning, with Norwich Cathedral in the background. Credit: Mira66.

The Mother & Child sculpture in the Upper Close, Norwich yesterday morning, with Norwich Cathedral in the background. Credit: Mira66.

So it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the forecast over the weekend and into Monday morning – you can get a five-day forecast for your local area by typing in your postcode on the Met Office website.

We could be looking at further disruptions to travel and services on Monday as a result of this continuing wintry weather. Parents and students, remember that any school closures will appear here from early on Monday morning as headteachers decide whether they can safely open or not.

One potential problem brought about by prolonged sub-zero temperatures is frozen pipes, which not only means that your central heating and running water could be affected in the short term, but could lead to pipes bursting and costly repairs. Anglian Water are saying on their website that they’re getting reports of problems which may be due to frozen pipes and they have advice about how to help prevent it happening in the first place, but also what to do if you have a problem with frozen or burst pipes in your home.

Let’s end this blog post on a more positive note though, shall we? We’ve seen some stunning photography of Norfolk under the snow added to the Norfolk Winter Flickr group in the last few days and we’d like to thank those that have added their snaps for sharing them. We’ve had some great comments about the photos that have gone up on the blog recently, which have all been courtesy of Flickr, and we’ve been able to reproduce them here because the owners have given them a Creative Commons licence.

A low sun over Castle Acre Castle creates a stunning winter scene on Wednesday. Credit: Nick Ford

A low sun over Castle Acre Castle creates a stunning winter scene on Wednesday. Credit: Nick Ford

So if you’re adding snowy photos of Norfolk to Flickr this weekend and are happy for us, and others, to use them as long as we credit you, remember to put the Creative Commons stamp on them.

Finally, we’d like to thank you all for reading the blog this past week, unsurprisingly it’s been our most popular week since the blog started in November, and by some stretch! Thanks also to those who have made kind comments on Facebook and Twitter about the blog, they’re lovely to read and very much appreciated.

Enjoy the weekend, whether you’re staying wrapped up warm at home or out braving or playing in the snow. We’ll be back on Monday.

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