After the big freeze, the big thaw brings risk of flooding

 

Britain faces the risk of flooding as the recent spell of snow and cold weather comes to an end this weekend.

After lighter flurries today, more snow is forecast to fall in the north on Friday evening and into Saturday before milder air comes in and lifts temperatures to a high of around 10C (50F) on Sunday, according to Meteogroup, the weather division of the Press Association.

Rain crossing the south west on Friday, coupled with melting snow could potentially cause minor localised flooding in the area, the Environment Agency said.

The milder weather will continue into next week, bringing wet weather and a risk of further flooding to other parts of the UK.

It brought advice from the Environment Agency that people should keep building snowmen, as the compacted structures stay cold for longer and could help regulate the flow of water.

Roy Stokes, from the Agency, was reported as saying: "Ideally, if everybody built themselves a snowman that will slow the thaw down a bit.

"If you notice, when people clear their drive the snow thaws away but the compacted piles stay which will give a balanced thaw, which would be helpful."

A spokeswoman later said that building a snowman would have a limited impact on the rate of thawing.

"When snow is compacted, as it is when you build a snowman or drive over it in a car park for example, it melts at a slower rate," she said.

"But while building snowmen is great fun, sadly it is unlikely to make a significant difference to the overall rate at which the snow melts across the country and won't protect your home from flooding."

Snow continued to fall today, with the heaviest falls in south and west Wales and south west England, Meteogroup said.

Many areas saw the mercury struggle to get above zero, particularly in northern England and Scotland.

London managed a high of 3C (37F), while the warmest place was the Isles of Scilly, which managed 8C (46F).

The wintry weather has been blamed for at least nine deaths and has caused widespread disruption.

In Somerset, gritter crews have been working around the clock after nearly 15cm of snow fell in 24 hours.

In the worst incident, 30 people had to spend the night in a shelter after becoming stranded when the A39 between Bridgwater and Williton became impassable at around 1am this morning.

Severe weather has also forced the closure of hundreds of schools across Wales for a second day running.

Southeastern Trains has cancelled a number of early morning trains tomorrow in order to use the carriages on other services.

It said Network Rail had asked it to run some of the early morning services with more carriages, because it makes the trains less likely to be affected by icy rails.

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance revealed today that it had flown an 18-year-old man to hospital in London after a sledge accident.

He was flown to St George's Hospital after suffering head injuries in an accident in Caterham, Surrey.

The AA said today it had attended more than 160,000 breakdowns since January 11, including around 2,200 vehicles stuck in snow or ice.

More snow is forecast to fall on Friday night, with southern Scotland and northern England, including the Pennines, expected to receive a further 10cm (3.8in).

But Sunday will see temperatures rise into positive figures, with up to 10C possible in the south west, and with it a rapid thaw.

Meteogroup forecaster Paul Mott said: "That will bring with it the increased risk of flooding, with the snow rapidly thawing from Sunday and further rain forecast for the north and west of the UK."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Freight Forward Senior Operator

£22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This logistics firm are looking...

Recruitment Genius: Lead Marketing Specialist

£34500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A lead marketing specialist is required ...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician - 2nd / 3rd Line

£26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Technician is req...

Recruitment Genius: Folder Gluer Operator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: There will be a number of exciting opportuniti...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map