Norfolk is bracing itself for more heavy snow overnight (Fri/Sat), followed rain, wind and a rapid thaw on Saturday night and Sunday.
Norfolk County Council’s gritters carried out two gritting runs on Friday afternoon and evening to make sure the priority routes are well salted before the arrival of snow, which was expected to become heavy at around midnight.
Forecasters predicted 4-10cms of snow, so snowploughs were fitted to gritters and new crews went straight out at midnight.
Forecasters are also warning that as the snow clears this morning (Sat) it may turn to rain, followed by a sudden dip in temperatures as skies clear.
Motorists are warned that there is therefore an increased risk that roads will be icy, in spite of the efforts of the gritting crews. County Council gritters are preparing to work nonstop, but it takes up to three hours to treat the priority network of just over 2,000 miles.
The County Council has also put farmers on alert around the county in case minor roads need clearing.
A slow thaw is expected to start on Saturday, becoming a rapid thaw as rain and gales arrive on Saturday night. Temperatures on Sunday are expected to reach 8-9C on Sunday - the highest since the cold spell began more than two weeks ago.
Although the snow will be rapidly disappearing, motorists are warned to be prepared for standing water on roads. As well as the large quantity of water from rain and snowmelt, some of the drainage channels may have been affected by snowploughing during the worst of the weather, which has also prevented routine clearance of drains and roadside drainage grips (cuts into the verge to take water off roads).
In addition, the thaw is likely to be followed by an increase in the number of potholes caused by the big freeze. Potholes can be reported online at www.norfolk.gov.uk, and dangerous road defects needing urgent action can be reported on 0344-800-8020.