The Met Office have recently updated their severe weather warnings for Norfolk to include ones for ice and strong winds in Norfolk tomorrow.
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.
The possible combination of heavy rain, wintry showers and freezing temperatures in a short space of time make timing our gritting runs to best effect really tricky. At the moment, the gritters are due to go out in the north and south of the county from 5pm, because temperatures are due to drop to freezing in these areas earlier than the rest of Norfolk, with gritting runs in the west and east to follow from 6pm and in the city from 7pm. If rain or wintry showers linger in any of these areas longer than anticipated, we may need to go out in some places again during the first part of the night. And all our crews will be on stand-by to go out again at 3am if needed.
In a nutshell, we will try our best to make the roads on our gritting routes as safe as possible but please be prepared that even these roads may not have as much grip as usual, and obviously other roads could be very slippery, especially where puddles formed from the rain and wintry showers.
If you’re travelling this evening or later tonight, you could be in for any of the following: heavy rain and waterlogged roads, sleet and snow, and freezing temperatures and ice. So please leave plenty of time for making journeys and take extra care out there.
I’ll do another blog post later today to give more detail about the forecast for tomorrow and let you know if there are any further updates.