WINTER arrived back in Huddersfield with the first heavy snow of the season.
Several areas of the town were hit by at least three inches of snow, although some received only a dusting.
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The good news is that more snow is unlikely for the rest of this week, but the bad news is that temperatures are unlikely to get much above freezing and will be sub-zero at night.
There were some problems on the roads, notably the A62 Manchester Road at Marsden where an articulated lorry jackknifed and blocked part of the road.
A handful of schools in the Batley area closed early because of snow causing problems on access roads.
The snow hit much of Yorkshire from early yesterday morning and there were falls of up to 4in (10cm) in some parts.
The Met Office has upgraded its “cold weather action” warning to level three – one underneath a national emergency – for all of England, urging social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups.
Kirklees Council gritted all the priority routes on Friday and Saturday nights and again yesterday morning and also had patrols out throughout the day.
A council spokesman said: “We have started the winter with 25,000 ton of salt in stock for this year. We had the same last year.
“We run 32 gritters and run a two-shift system so have 74 personnel employed in Kirklees for our winter operations.
“To supplement this all available personnel can be called in to help in extreme cases when the snow falls.”
Salendine Nook weather expert Paul Stevens said: “There were some notable falls in some areas, with up to 3cm in the town centre and up to 10cm on higher ground.
“The snow died away in the afternoon but the problems will come as temperatures fall. We are getting winds coming in from the east and they will bring much colder air, which will mean temperatures struggling to rise above freezing for most of the week.
“The main concern will be the lying snow freezing over on paths and side roads, which could make it hazardous for some.”
In Calderdale, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School closed at lunchtime, with the school saying the bus company was only able to provide a return journey home at 12.15pm.
Ryburn Valley High School in Sowerby Bridge was closed to all pupils, except those taking exams. They also raised concerns about potential transport issues.
Calderdale Council said all gritting crews were out from 7am yesterday morning and would remain on the roads until snow cleared.
OFFENDERS on Community Payback Orders are officially on stand-by to clear footpaths and public areas as severe winter weather conditions hit West Yorkshire.
Offenders will support local authorities and communities to clear snowfall from streets, grit roads and salt footpaths.
They will be redirected from other community-based work to provide a rapid response in emergencies.
Karen Townend, head of community payback, said: “This is a great way for offenders to repay local communities for the crimes they have committed.
“Clearing snow is physically demanding and time-consuming work. Without it, roads, pavements and car parks can become unsafe.
“We are pleased to utilise the offenders’ Community Payback hours to help local people in this way, as and when the need arises.”
A SAFETY charity in Huddersfield has urged people to drive carefully in the wintry weather.
Brake is concerned that the number of accidents will increase because of this week’s snow and ice.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “Every year we support many families whose lives have been torn apart by bad weather crashes, so we’re calling on drivers to do everything they can to help avoid tragedies during this cold snap.
“The most important message is to err on the side of caution and not drive if it’s snowing, forecast to snow, or there are other potentially deadly conditions.
“Ice, snow, heavy rain and fog make driving incredibly risky; stopping distances double in the wet and can increase 10-fold in ice and snow, and if you can’t see clearly you can’t react to hazards.
“We are also urging drivers to be prepared. Listen to forecasts and make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and kitted out. If you get caught in bad weather the most critical thing is to slow right down and keep your distance, bearing in mind it will take you much longer to stop in an emergency.”