Warmer weather melts snow misery

Snow at Church Gresley, Derbyshire.

Heavy snowfall has brought travel chaos to parts of the country, with dozens of motorists trapped on high ground and many forced to abandon their vehicles.

But the wintry weather will melt away to more balmy conditions on Thursday, with temperatures rocketing into double figures.

Snow ploughs and gritters were called to the A1079 Arras hill at Market Weighton in East Yorkshire on Wednesday to attempt to clear the road and rescue drivers, many of whom were stuck for hours, the BBC said. But they also became trapped on the snow-bound road, the main route between Hull and York.

Police told the BBC that at one point up to 40 vehicles were stuck in "very bleak" conditions. One motorist was stuck in his car for three and a half hours trying to get from Leeds to Beverley. West Yorkshire Police also warned of dangers from poor weather conditions and concerns about icy roads on the Pennine roads above Huddersfield as rain replaces the snow.

The A635 Greenfield Road at Holmfirth is expected to remain closed until this morning, and the A628 Woodhead Pass in Derbyshire was shut because of severe weather, the Highways Agency said.

After the snowfall the UK will see much milder weather on Thursday, forecasters said. The mercury could rise as high as 12C (54F) in the South West, 11C (52F) in London and 9C (48F) in the North, the Midlands and Scotland.

There will be no more snow this week, but instead dry, sunny weather, according to Sally Webb, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association. "Heavy rain falling across much of England and Wales this morning will clear through the South East around noon, leaving a largely dry and sunny day," she said. "There will be isolated showers along western fringes, particularly in Scotland.

"It will stay dry overnight, with clear spells and widespread frost, and temperatures getting down to 0C in most places, and minus 2C (28.5F) in places like Cheshire. Tomorrow there will be sunny spells, though Scotland is still likely to see some showers overnight into Saturday, but elsewhere it will be largely dry and sunny throughout the weekend."

"Temperatures are going to stay fairly mild, with 10C (50F) or 11C (52F) in western areas, 8C (46.5F) or 9C (48F) in other areas and into next week."

But the warmer weather may just be a blip - forecasters suggest it will become cold again at the end of next week. The Environment Agency has eight flood warnings in place - three in the Midlands, three in East Anglia and two in the South West, and 132 less serious flood alerts, mainly in the South East.

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