'40pc chance' region will get snow

CHRIS BISHOP East Anglia has a 40 per cent chance of snow later today and early tomorrow, government forecasters said last night.


East Anglia has a 40pc chance of snow later today and early tomorrow, government forecasters said last night.

But while parts of eastern Scotland and Northumbria are set to be blanketed by up to 20cms (8in) of snow, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are unlikely to see even a quarter of that and any initial snowfall will quickly turn to sleet or rain.

That was the warning from the National Severe Weather Warning Service, which is part of the Met Office.

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John Law, a forecaster at UEA-based WeatherQuest, said any snow would be likely to fall on Norfolk between 2pm and 3pm. "There should be a dry start to the day with a front moving up from the south," he said.

"At the front of that there may be some snow or sleet, no more than 2cm or 3cm (1in) which will turn to rain during the afternoon. It may settle - the ground is definitely cold enough - but as the rain comes through it shouldn't pose a problem."

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Today will be cold, with temperatures of about 3C (37F), but with a fairly moderate to fresh easterly wind it will seem much colder, probably about -5C (23F).

Meanwhile hospitals across the region are bracing themselves for increased admissions due to the weather.

A spokesman for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn, said: "The severe weather warning means that by the weekend we - and other hospitals - will start to get a sudden increase in patients with breathing and heart problems, which always happens a day or two after a cold snap begins.

"This will be in addition to the slips, trips and falls and the road accidents. I wouldn't be surprised if we're all on a high state of alert by next Monday as beds begin to fill up."

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