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Snow spreads as cold tightens grip

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A man walks through deep snow near Castleton, North Yorkshire

Snow has been spreading across Britain as a prolonged blast of wintry weather tightened its grip on the country.

Parts of south-west England were expecting their own snow showers after much of the eastern half of the country was blanketed by up to 6ins (15cm) on Thursday.

The Midlands and London face being dusted, with snow and icy conditions set to deteriorate early next week.

Britons have been warned the wintry spell could last for at least 10 days, as biting winds swoop in from the North Sea and night-time temperatures plummet to minus 6C. It is the earliest November snowfall for 17 years.

Parts of Northumberland have seen the heaviest snowfall, with 6ins falling in places. A similar amount fell in Aberdeenshire, 4.7ins (12cm) in the Scottish Borders and 4ins (10cm) in Durham, causing a raft of school closures.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for widespread icy roads and heavy snow across the north-east, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands, the east and south-west England as well as parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Forecasters warned of snowfall reaching up to 10ins (25cm) over higher ground by Saturday.

Billy Payne, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “The weather is staying very cold and icy, and there’s a chance snow showers will spread inland, particularly into Saturday. The country faces a more prolonged period of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.”

The unusual weather is being caused by a high pressure over Greenland and low pressure in the Baltics, forcing cold winds from the north-east across Europe. It will see daytime temperatures hover between 1C and 3C and generally between minus 2C and minus 4C overnight for the next week and a half.

Motorists have been warned of black ice on the roads.

Paul Leather, AA patrol of the year, said: “Our concern for…(this) morning is black ice – the snow will have thawed a bit during the day and could prove treacherous as people head home. If possible, people should stick to the gritted main roads and keep their speed down. In case of any problems, at the very least, carry plenty of warm clothing and a fully-charged mobile phone.”

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