South Yorkshire braces for snow

Stranded motorists pictured on the A169 high up on the North York Moors near Goathland, North Yorkshire as snow fell across the UK.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 5, 2012. See PA story WEATHER Snow. Photo credit should read: Anthony Chappel-Ross                           /PA Wire
Stranded motorists pictured on the A169 high up on the North York Moors near Goathland, North Yorkshire as snow fell across the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 5, 2012. See PA story WEATHER Snow. Photo credit should read: Anthony Chappel-Ross /PA Wire
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CHILLY residents could be waking up to a wintry start today as the first flurries of snow were predicted to fall in the region.

Councils have braced for snowfall with fleets of gritters sent out in force across roads in Sheffield, Derbyshire and Doncaster last night and today.

Snow was already reported on the highest hills of the Peak District yesterday, while there was ice in the city centre and temperatures plummeted as low as -5C last night.

And small amounts of the white stuff are expected to fall again on high ground in the area today and continue with more showers tomorrow.

Forecaster Stephen Davenport, of Meteo Group, said: “Wednesday was a really cold night with frosts and temperatures between -3 and -5C.

“Today there will be showers which might start off as snow on high ground in Sheffield but they will soon turn to rain.

“The wind is picking up so it will be wet and windy in the day with temperatures only reaching around 4C.”

Further showers of snow could fall tonight and into early Friday morning, added Mr Davenport, followed by a mostly cold dry 
weekend.

Between one and three centimetres is the amount expected on the eastern side of South Yorkshire - although most of the snow will hit North Yorkshire.

In Derbyshire, up to 3cm of snow could fall at lower levels, with more on higher ground before it turns to rain.

Yesterday, Sheffield highways chiefs held a weather meeting to decide when to send a fleet of 23 gritters out across the city.

The timing was crucial as gritting aims to combat ice on the roads and must be done before it forms.

All priority main and secondary routes were treated over last night into today.

A Streets Ahead spokeswoman said: “We anticipated the temperature to drop again last night and started gritting priority routes early.

“The temperature was constantly monitored overnight with further gritting planned before the morning rush hour if it rained or the temperature fell further.”

Motorists are urged to be prepared for icy conditions and drive carefully.

Derbyshire Police said there had already been several snow-related crashes in the county and high routes such as the Snake and Woodhead Passes were ‘driveable’ with caution.

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire County Council said: “We gritted across the county Tuesday night and yesterday morning and were planning to go out again last night.

“We’re continuing to keep a close eye on the weather so we’re ready to respond to any change in conditions when needed.”

Doncaster Council confirmed that its gritters would be out in the early hours of today, with temperatures on the borough’s roads expected to be as low as -6C, according to a spokeswoman.

nEmail news@thestar.co.uk with your snow stories and pictures.