Pirate FM News

WATCH: Ice warning goes out for Cornwall

icy road ice

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 12:56pm 29th November 2017. (Updated at 7:31am 30th November 2017)

Winter has truly arrived, as a yellow weather warning for ice goes out for Cornwall.

The Met Office alert for the Duchy kicked in at 6pm on Wednesday and will stay in force until 10am on Thursday.

It comes as the cold snap continues, with overnight temperatures expected to dip to as low as -1C across the South West. Brrrr.

Forecasters say there is a chance of a sprinkling of snow over higher ground overnight, so places like Bodmin Moor could be in with a chance.

But mostly it is just the slippery stuff which could cause problems on roads and pavements.

Scroll down to get tips on how to drive in cold weather or watch the latest forecast for Cornwall.

A Met Office spokesperson said: "Icy patches are likely to develop on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths or where showers cause wash off on treated roads."

The icy patches are expected to form overnight and could cause trouble for the drive to work on Thursday morning.

The Chief Forecaster's assessment reads: "Showers, falling as rain or hail, but as sleet or snow on some higher ground, will occur at times through Wednesday and overnight into Thursday morning.

"The extent of ice will vary across the area with inland areas most prone whilst north facing coasts are less likely to be affected".

The gritters were sent out across the whole of Cornwall, with temperatures set to plummet.

They were salt spreading and treating the Duchy's roads from 2.30pm on Wednesday.

A Cormac spokesperson said: "This afternoon will see a few scattered showers continuing to the west of Penzance, whilst further east it should remain mostly dry with sunny spells.

"The showers falling mostly as rain but some hail possible at times also.

"Into this evening scattered showers will continue across the far west, with clear spells further east.

"During the course of the night, showers will start to spread in from the north more widely across the region, especially towards dawn.

"The showers will turn increasingly wintry, with a mixture of rain, sleet and hail but also some wet snow possible across moors.

"RSTs falling just below zero across most domains tonight, although recovering very slightly across the North and Central domains as cloud and showers spill in later in the night.

"The west domain RSTs becoming very marginal and erratic tonight, however they should hold above.

"Where sleet and hail showers occur during the night, this will allow for RSTs to temporarily drop to zero in places, especially in the west domain.

"A mixture of sunshine and wintry showers tomorrow morning".

You can check the latest weather warnings here or watch what that yellow alerts means...

 

How does it work?

Salt doesn’t melt snow or ice.

When mixed with water, salt lowers its freezing point. The greater the concentration of salt, the lower the freezing point. However, salt can take time to dissolve. Traffic passing over newly spread salt and crushing it speeds this process considerably, sometimes called ‘activating’. Without this additional help, it is possible for salt to lay on a surface and ice form around or on top of it.

Where salt has dissolved into the water, the chances of encountering layers of are ice far less likely. However, the possibility can never be removed altogether because: 

  • Sub-zero temperatures can reach the lowered freezing point required
  • Salt can fail to dissolve properly owing to lack of traffic to activate it
  • Rainfall during or after the salting process can wash it away before it can take effect

 

Driving in snow and ice:

Take it slow – with stopping distances 10 times longer, gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving in ice and snow.
  • Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving.
  • Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
  • Uphill – leave plenty of room or wait until it’s clear so you don’t have to stop part way up. Keep a constant speed and try to avoid having to change gear on the hill.
  • Downhill – slow down before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid braking. Leave as much room as you can to the car in front.
  • If you have to use your brakes, apply them gently.
  • If you drive an Automatic, check the handbook – some have a winter mode or recommend selecting ‘2’ in slippery conditions.
  • If you do get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip.

Read more advice from the AA here, including how to prepare your car for winter driving.

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