Huddersfield witnessed two seasons in one day – as winter gave way to spring in the space of a few hours.
The town woke to a whiteout today (Thurs) as a blanket of snow which began falling at about 5am caused major disruption on the roads.
Hundreds of schools closed or had a late start due to the return of wintry weather while there were long delays on main routes into town.
However, by late morning the snow was quickly melting away as temperatures rose as high as 7˚C (44.6˚F) and the sun shone.
The snow had been forecast but still caught many people by surprise after last week’s cold snap.
There were no huge hold ups on the stretch of the M62 in the Huddersfield area – although traffic was moving slowly. But there were long delays at junction 26 for Chain Bar with lanes reduced and roadworks remained in place for longer than expected.
Cars were stuck in Bradford Road at about 8.30am as passers-by rallied round to give them a push up the hill beyond Asda at Brackenhall.
West Yorkshire Police also tweeted to urge drivers not to travel unless necessary.
The main road from Holmfirth to Honley was gridlocked with one driver reporting he’d moved just 100 metres in 30 minutes.
There were a handful of mishaps, including a Smart car crashing at Round Ings Road, Scapegoat Hill, another vehicle coming off the road at Dalton Bank Road and a car sliding into a parked vehicle on Causeway Side in Linthwaite.
There were reports of abandoned vehicles at Outlane, a car crash in Dalton and cars slithering along Manchester Road at Slaithwaite.
Kirklees gritting trucks were out and about supplemented by tractors and snow ploughs.
A number of drivers ignored road closures at Spen Lane, Cleckheaton, where roadworks are underway following a burst water main while Leeds Road in Huddersfield was blocked by two lorries near the Jaguar garage, causing a 40 minute delay for traffic heading from Mirfield to the Cooper Bridge junction.
Ainley Top kept moving despite the bad weather suggesting many drivers had decided to avoid the roads until the weather improved.
Many schools opened at around 10am to allow staff and parents extra time to make the journey.
Examiner weatherman Paul Stevens said 10cms (4ins) to 12cms (4.7ins) of snow fell during the morning – about half the depth of last week’s blizzards – caused by a weather front pushing up into colder air.
He said: “It was much wetter snow than last week with a higher water content. Once you got cars on it the snow quickly compacted and caused slippery conditions which is what led to the multitude of bumps and bangs.”
The Salendine Nook weatherman said the stronger sun at this time of year had melted the snow with temperatures reaching as high as 7˚C.
Looking ahead, he said: “As the cold air moves away we will get a warm front coming up slowly from the south through tomorrow (Fri) and Saturday, but there will be some rain and a fair bit of murky cloud on the hills. Moving into next week, low pressure is in control and it will main unsettled.”
The Met Office, which lifted its yellow weather warning at about midday as temperatures rose, is forecasting a high of 4
˚C (39˚F) this evening (Thurs) and into tomorrow (Fri). Saturday will be slightly cooler at 3˚C (37˚F) with some rain while Sunday will see a high of 5˚C (41˚F) with mist patches.