WEATHER WARNING: Heavy snow forecast for parts of Northumberland

Heavy snow forecast for tomorrow.
Heavy snow forecast for tomorrow.
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The Met Office has issued an amber warning for snow in Northumberland tomorrow as Storm Doris moves eastwards across the country.

The 'be prepared' alert was issued this morning and affects the north-west of the county and the Scottish Borders between 2pm and 6pm.

The Met Office weather warning

The Met Office weather warning

It says: 'Heavy snow is expected on Thursday. Accumulations of 10 to 15cm are likely quite widely with 20 to 30cm falling on hills above 300 metres. This will lead to disruption to transport and perhaps power supplies.'

The chief forecaster added: 'As Storm Doris moves eastwards across central parts of the UK on Thursday, a spell of heavy snow is expected on its northern flank. There is some uncertainty over the track of Doris and therefore over the extent of snowfall, but confidence is now higher for disruptive snow to affect the amber area."

There is also a yellow 'be aware' warning of heavy rain tonight in central and western Northumberland until 2pm tomorrow, with rainfall totals of 20-40mm expected, which has the potential to lead to some travel disruption and localised flooding.

Highways England urged drivers to be prepared before setting out on journeys tomorrow, after issuing its own severe weather alert for the country’s major roads.

An amber alert for gales will be in place across the North, Midlands and East of the country between 6am and 6pm in response to the strong winds and heavy rain forecast during Storm Doris.

Gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are expected on some roads, along with heavy rain and surface water. There is a particularly high risk to high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes on exposed sections of the network.

Drivers of these vehicles are being strongly advised to avoid travelling on around 40 stretches of motorway and major A roads while the alert is in place. They are:

North East / Yorkshire
M1 J32 - M18 interchange
M1 J34 Tinsley Viaduct/Rotherham
M1 J39-J40 Crigglestone to Dewsbury
A628 Woodhead Pass
M62 J23-J25 Huddersfield to Brighouse
M62 J31-J32 Normanton to Pontefract
M62 J35a-J36 Rawcliffe Bridge, M18 interchange to J36 Goole
M62 J36-J37 River Ouse / Ouse Bridge
A1(M) J47-J49 between A59 Knaresborough and A168 Dishforth
A1(M) J58-J65 between A1 and Washington at J65
A66 between M6 J40 - A1 (Scotch Corner)
A19 Hylton Bridge over River Wear
A19 Tees Viaduct
A19 Leven Viaduct
A69 Entire route
Humber Bridge

North West
M53 J1-J2 Wallasey to Birkenhead
M56 J12 Runcorn and Sutton Weaver
M58 J1 Kirkby
M6 J20-J21 Thelwall Viaduct
M6 J26-J27 M58 to Standish
M6 J36-J45 through Cumbria
M60 J10-J12 Barton Bridge through to M62
M60 J16-J17 Pendlebury and Kersley to Prestwich and Whitefield
M62 J18-J27 between Manchester and Leeds
M61 J4-J5 Westhoughton
M61 J9 / M65 J1 Interchange
A56 between M65 and A680 at Edenfield
M65 J3-J4 Withnell and Blackburn Interchange
A66 between M6 J40 - A1 (Scotch Corner)
A69 Entire route

East
A14 Orwell Bridge - near Ipswich
A282 QE2 Bridge/Dartford Bridge

East Midlands
M1 J22-J23 Leicester North to Loughborough

West Midlands
M50 J1-J2 Queenhill, Tewkesbury to Ledbury
M5 J1-J2 West Bromwich to Dudley
M5 J4-J5 Kidderminster to Redditch
M5 J7-J8 Worcester to J8 - M50; Strensham Services
M6 J6-J8 Spaghetti Junction to Friar Park (M5)
M6 J15-J16 Keele Services; immediately south of J16 - Audley

Richard Leonard, Highways England’s head of road safety, said: “We’re expecting Storm Doris to have a significant impact on the roads throughout the day tomorrow so are urging drivers to consider changing their plans if necessary and to slow down in stormy weather.

“Drivers should look out for warnings on the electronic message signs and listen for updates in radio travel bulletins. Our traffic officers will also be ready to respond to any incidents during Storm Doris, and we’re urging drivers to respond to the changing conditions on the road to stay safe.”

Earlier this winter, Highways England launched a new safety campaign warning drivers that ‘when it rains, it kills’ after the latest statistics showed that people are 30 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads in rain than in snow.

The figures also reveal that travelling too fast for the current conditions was identified as a factor in one in nine road deaths in Great Britain last year, with drivers failing to alter how they drive in response to changing conditions on the road.

It generally takes at least twice as long to stop on a wet road as on a dry road because tyres have less grip on the surface. In wet weather you should:

Slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles is making it difficult to see and be seen;
Keep well back from the vehicle in front as this will increase your ability to see and plan ahead; and
Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually if the steering becomes unresponsive as it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road.