Icy blasts bring an end to mild autumn

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The Independent Online

To the shock of a nation that was once accustomed to white flakes long before November, snow finally arrived across Scotland yesterday, signalling an end to one of the warmest autumns on record.

To the shock of a nation that was once accustomed to white flakes long before November, snow finally arrived across Scotland yesterday, signalling an end to one of the warmest autumns on record.

The AA issued weather warnings for Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Co Durham, the Pennines, the East Riding and north Lincolnshire as a cold northerly airflow brought snow to high land. Temperatures dipped everywhere, with the worst weather being reserved for northern Scotland.

Although snowploughs were used overnight, cars were abandoned after slewing out of control in north-east Scotland. The Highland A9 became the first road closed by lunchtime. Aberdeenshire, the Highlands, the Borders and Perth were badly affected, with up to four inches of snow on high ground.

Strong to gale force winds meant temperatures barely above zero all day and black ice. The A99 Wick to Latheron road in Caithness and the A90 between Aberdeen and Stonehaven were closed.

Jason Cullen of the AA said: "We are advising people to keep speeds down and to get their cars in shape for winter.Gusty winds and snowfall can produce dangerous driving conditions."

Sleet and showers were expected across north-east Scotland, East Anglia, Norfolk, Essex and Kent today, with temperatures dropping to about 6C across the South-east.

* Housing in flood-prone areas may have to be abandoned, a report stated yesterday. Ministers should not rule out clearing river corridors of houses and buildings to store and channel floodwaters as part of flood defences, said the study, Learning to Live with Rivers, from the Institution of Civil Engineers.

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