SNOW UPDATE: worsening conditions lead to difficult driving conditions and disruption to services

Snow February 2012.''Ripe Village
Snow February 2012.''Ripe Village

The start of the working day for people in East Sussex was greeted with a snow shower which so far shows no signs of letting up.

The Met Office is predicting it will continue to snow in the county well into Saturday morning (January 19).

Reports of difficult driving conditions and bus services being cancelled are already coming in and the picture looks like it will worsen during today.

Hundreds of schools across the county have closed today due to the adverse weather conditions, with some enforcing partial closures.

East Sussex County Council said the main routes through the county were running well at the moment, but motorists are advised to only travel when necessary and to check their route before they set off online, either on twitter or on local travel news.

The snow has already been causing some disruption to services and members of the public should check opening hours before they travel, as the picture is constantly being updated.

There is snow at Gatwick and more snowfall is expected during the course of today. The airport is advising passengers to check the status of their flight with the airline before travelling to the airport and to allow extra time for your journey to Gatwick as road and rail networks may be impacted.

Lewes District Council’s kerbside recycling rounds have been suspended for today due to conditions.

South East Coast Ambulance reported earlier today that the snow was getting heavier, especially in Sussex and Surrey, saying they were getting busier and were taking longer to get to some patients than we would like

In Lewes District crews will also be gritting car parks, parks and sheltered housing sites too across the day.

Street sweeping crews are heading out to town centres armed with grit and shovels to keep main paths clear.

East Sussex County Council gritted around 1,000 miles of roads, including both primary and secondary routes this morning.

The Met Office issued an amber warning of severe weather for snow which will last until 9pm tonight.

A band of snow, heavy in places, spread northeastwards across Wales and the southwestern half of England during this morning, and will last through the afternoon and evening across much of Wales, the Midlands, southern and parts of Southeast England. Winds will strengthen, leading to drifting of lying snow.

Accumulations of more than 5-10 cm of snow will occur quite widely, falling within 3-6 hours.

On Saturday January 19 the Met Office has a yellow severe weather warning for ice out in force.

It said the public should be prepared for disruption, including altering travel plans.

Although some further slight snowfalls are likely, with 1 to 2 cm of fresh snow in a few places, the focus switches to ice, with sub-zero temperatures persisting over existing snow cover for many areas and spreading back into parts of the southwest towards daybreak on Saturday.

Temperatures this weekend look set to be between -1C and 0C although it will feel more like -6C at times due to the windchill factor.