HEAVY snow falls - up to five inches in places - brought major disruptions to South Yorkshire today with weather warnings remaining in place throughout Britain, writes Graham Walker.
Weather experts say there could be more snow today but to expect a big freeze when temperatures could fall tonight to -2c.
VIDEO: Press the play button to see our snow report.
And the continuing winter storm is believed to have already claimed the life of one woman in another part of the country.
Locally, tram services were operating with some delays. Buses were running on most main routes, but avoiding slippery, hilly areas and side roads.
Some train delays and cancellations are also being reported.
Wayne Southall, from Amey - the contractors responsible for gritting in Sheffield, “We’ve been out continually since Thursday evening, even when it calmed a little. The snow started again at 4pm yesterday and didn’t stop all night.
“We’re concentrating on priority roads, including roads serving hospitals. But it’s been very difficult. We’ve not been able to do anything on side roads and there’s up to four foot snow drifts on some high areas.
“Because of the continual snow we are having to re treat priority roads and it’s slowing us down.
“We’re going to be on this well into Sunday.
“We have 25 gritters and hand crews around the hospitals, city centres and shopping areas. But clearly the roads are a priority.
“Our advice, where possible, is to make sure you have winter tyres in these conditions. All side roads are inches deep. Avoid travelling unless really necessary.”
Snow, rain, high winds and freezing temperatures are sweeping across the UK, causing travel safety concerns.
Several inches of snow covered parts of England, Scotland and Wales from London northwards, with heavy showers and sleet hitting the south-east.
The Met Office issued an amber weather warning across Yorkshire last night as significant snow accumulations fell on higher ground.
In South Yorkshire several inches of snow fell overnight in most places - on top of the snow which closed more than 30 schools and disrupted public transport. yesterday.
About 40 bus services affected this morning - some not covering parts of their routes.
The Woodhead Pass and Snake Pass, linking the region with Manchester, were closed and emergency services were responding to an accident on the M1 motorway south bond between Junction 31 to 30.
All flights were this morning suspended in and out of East Midlands Airport - but the airport re-opened by lunch time. Leeds Bradford Airport was closed until 9am, to clear the runway. Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport was advising travellers to check for updates on their web site at www.robinhoodairport.com and to call their airline operator direectly.
Sport was another victim of the bad weather today - Sheffield United’s big match against Brentford at Bramall Lane was to have kicked off at 12.45pm.
But after a pitch inspection this morning it was called off.
Rotherham United and Chesterfield home games were also postponed due to the snow and safety fears.
The weather also disrupt the start of the flat racing season.
Racing has also been abandoned at Doncaster today because of three inches of snow there. The William Hill Lincoln has been rescheduled to Saturday, March 30.
While the south-west is expected to be spared the heavy downpours and flash flooding it suffered on Thursday and Friday, more than 90 flood risk alerts are still in place.
A landslide and floodwater in Cornwall, thought to have been triggered by torrential rain, smashed through a block of flats early on Friday and partially collapsed the building.
Emergency crews and specialist investigators found a woman’s body after picking through debris at the Veronica flats in Looe, and it is believed to be that of Susan Norman, who is in her 60s and had been unaccounted for following the collapse.
Electricity North West said about 1,500 properties in Cumbria remained without power on Friday night but repair work was being held back by road closures, preventing access to some communities. The company is considering using a helicopter to transport engineers to the areas which were unable to be restored.
Chris Hogan, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, said: “The worst of this severe weather was (on Friday), although there is still some significant snowfall to come. London will mark the border of rain and snow, with everywhere north looking at a covering of snow and around 6cm in the Midlands, Wales, north England and southern Scotland. Higher areas could see more than 10cm.
“But the rain will move across to the south-east today (Saturday) where it will be persistent but not as heavy as yesterday in the south-west. Temperatures will stay around freezing, but will feel much colder because of the bitter winds. The winter weather will gradually ease throughout today and tomorrow though there is no sign of any warmer weather coming through yet.”
Another weather expert, MeteoGroup’s forecaster John Lee, has already warned that this month could be the coldest March in half a century, dashing any hopes of spring.
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