THE first real blast of winter has hit Huddersfield.
And with snow and ice causing problems, the bad news was – it is going to stick around.
Temperatures are expected to stay on or below freezing well into the next week.
And more snow is forecast for today and tomorrow, leaving many areas of the town blanketed under several inches.
The snow started falling yesterday afternoon and was expected to continue throughout most of the night and this morning, settling in many areas.
Kirklees Council sent out its entire 32-strong fleet of gritting machines out for several hours yesterday afternoon and had patrols on the roads throughout the night.
Senior Streetscene officer Mark Dobson said: “The forecasts we had showed the snow was due to hit in the afternoon, having stalled on the western side of the country in the morning.
“We sent out all the gritters from 2pm to cover the entire priority route network and had teams on patrol throughout the night.
“It was okay while traffic was on the roads as that helped stopped snow from settling but we anticipate problems during the night when there is little or no traffic, and the salt could be washed away”.
Salendine Nook weather expert Paul Stevens said another major worry was the cold.
Yesterday was the coldest day of the week, with the mercury failing to get above minus 1.8 deg.
“The low pressure bringing the snow moved slowly up the west of the country and across from Ireland but came in late in the afternoon.
“It was expected it would continue to bring snow throughout Friday night and Saturday morning and there is a very good chance of snow showers throughout today and again tomorrow.
“I fully expect that by the end of the weekend, most areas will get between 2cm and 5cm, with up to 10cm on the higher ground and perhaps more up on the moors.
“And it will stay very cold over the entire weekend and well into next week”.
The wintry blast played havoc with local sport, with amateur football and rugby games off.
AFC Emley’s big FA Vase tie was cancelled as was Brighouse Town’s trip to Newport in the Isle of Wight in the same competition.
A car was left hanging over a 10ft drop after it skidded off a steep car park. A woman motorist and her child managed to get out of the car after it became perched on a wall over a garden at Top Row, Newsome, at 4pm yesterday. Huddersfield Firefighters helped secure the vehicle until a tow truck could pull it clear.
SNOW brought travel chaos across the country.
Roads were shut, trains cancelled or delayed and flights disrupted.
As the snow hit London and south east England, one of Heathrow’s two runways had to be closed for de-icing and snow clearance.
Driven by strong winds, the snow settled quickly and travellers who had had trouble getting on to reduced-service trains in the morning were wondering how they were going to get home tonight.
As the snow spread, so did the travel chaos. Earlier, Wales, the West Country, eastern England, the North East of England and Scotland had been the worst-hit areas.
But soon the whole country was in winter’s grip, with flights cancelled at Heathrow airport and snow reaching London.
At least 70 flights were cancelled at Heathrow. British Airways said it had axed 60 flights. Airports where flights were cancelled included Southampton, Bristol, Glasgow, Jersey and Newcastle.
Some train companies had operated special timetables even before the snow arrived, prompting some passengers to complain of overcrowding.
Channel Tunnel rail firm Eurostar axed four services between London and Brussels, and there were amended services on a number of domestic routes.
Wales bore the brunt of the early-morning disruption. The M4 was closed between junction 36 at Bridgend and junction 37 at Pyle due to snow.
There were hazardous driving conditions on sections of the M4 in South Wales and on the M48 near Chepstow while the snow caused traffic tailbacks in Cardiff and Newport. Among towns where roads had to close were Rhondda and Treorchy.
In Devon a section of the A35 was closed in Honiton while snow also caused a section of the same road to shut in Dorchester in Dorset.
A section of the North Devon Link Road in Rackenford was closed because of snow and a jack-knifed lorry.
On the A30 at Okehampton in Devon one lane was closed due to an accident and snow while hazardous road conditions were reported in the Bristol area.
In northern England there were hazardous driving conditions on the A1 around Alnwick because of ice and snow.
In Scotland, a section of the A821 in Stirling was closed due to snow.
The M50 was closed between Ross-on-Wye and Newent while the M4 near Cardiff was partially blocked between junctions 30 and 32.
Trains between Bridgend and Cardiff Central were being delayed while there were no services for a time between Radyr and Coryton in South Wales, nor between Liskeard in Cornwall and Plymouth in Devon, nor between Severn Beach and Avonmouth near Bristol.
Both Green Flag and the AA reported a lower-than-normal number of morning breakdowns, with many people staying at home.
But as the snow spread the number of calls for assistance increased.
By 2pm, the AA said it had dealt with about 6,800 breakdowns – or around 900 an hour. The busiest areas were the south coast, south west England, the Midlands and London.
Darron Burness, the AA’s head of special operations, said: “There’s been a big impact on the roads as the snow fell so heavily with traffic crawling on many routes and we’ve had reports of journeys taking three or four times longer than usual.