THE current cold spell could lead to a risk of wintry showers and ice on higher ground tomorrow (Thursday, November 30) and Devon County Council is urging people to take extra care on Devon’s roads.
The Met Office has issued a Yellow Weather Warning for snow and ice which is in force for most of Devon from 3am tomorrow morning until 4pm in the afternoon.
There is a chance of sleet and snow, with the Met Office forecasting the possibility of up to 10cm of snow on Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Blackdown Hills, whereas other areas may get from 1cm to 3cm.
With road surface temperatures forecast to dip just below freezing in parts of the county, there is also a possibility of icy patches, particularly on untreated surfaces.
Gritters will be carrying out multiple treatments on the County Council’s main gritting routes from around 10pm this evening and again in the early hours of tomorrow morning. This will include some of the busiest cycleways in Exeter which will be treated from 7pm.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “Although the weather warning says that spells of snow may develop over hills, there is a possibility that we may see sleet and snow over a more widespread area. But the cold temperatures mean that ice could be a bigger issue for most of us over the next few days, particularly on untreated routes.
“Any wet patches and run-off from fields could freeze which could make conditions hazardous.
“Please keep an eye on the weather forecast and check local news bulletins before heading out tomorrow. If you’re driving, drive according to the conditions, allow extra time for your journey and take extra care.”
The County Council is reminding everyone of the following advice this winter:
• Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that showers or rain will wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice, and in extreme cold even salting will not stop ice from forming;
• Allow additional time for your journey;
• Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front;
• Drive with care and according to the conditions;
• If you have vulnerable or elderly neighbours, think about how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell;
• Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long-term illness or are 65 or over. The NHS website has more information on staying healthy during cold weather;
• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions and ensure you are stocked with food and medications.