Our gritters will be going out from 6pm tonight (7pm in Norwich) on all usual county gritting routes. We grit around a third of Norfolk’s roads, including all A and B-class roads, and Highways England grit the A11, A47 and A12. However, this means that many more minor routes are not gritted and even gritted routes may not have the same grip as a normal, non-icy road, so allow more time if you’re making any journeys overnight or tomorrow morning and take extra care.
We’ve had subzero temperatures for a number of nights on the trot now, and the days haven’t been exactly balmy, so please remember to check on any older or vulnerable people in your life who may struggle during colder weather. This one-minute video suggests some simple things you can do to help keep someone who is vulnerable safe and well this winter.
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.
Gale force winds between 60 and 70mph are possible, and the Met Office is also warning that this could lead to coastal flooding in some affected areas. Currently the only weather warnings in place for snow cover parts of Scotland.
Strong winds can lead to disruption to travel. The best advice if you have to drive during high winds is to slow right down, so you have more time to react in case there is debris such as branches across the road. At faster speeds you’ll also be likely to drift further off course if you are blown about by a sudden gust of wind, which could lead to accidents. There’s more advice about driving in strong winds here.
The Met Office reviews and updates weather warnings based on the latest forecast information, you can keep up to date with the latest information from the Met Office here (might be a good idea to bookmark this page for future use!). There are currently no warnings for flooding in England but the Environment Agency updates this page with the latest information.
Finally, there’s information here about who to contact if you need to report a problem with a road, such as a fallen tree.
Hopefully we won’t need all this information on Thursday – but better safe than sorry.