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Weather: More Snow On The Way Amid Travel Chaos

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SNOW PLOUGH
Britain could be heading for the coldest recorded March in 50 years | Getty Images

Power cuts and travel disruption continue to blight Britain today, as more snow falls across the country on another bitterly cold day.

The harsh weather is thought to have led to the death of a 27-year-old, whose body was yesterday discovered in deep snow by a farmer near Burnley, Lancashire.

The young man went missing while walking home in freezing weather after a night with friends.

Lancashire Police say the death, which is not being treated as suspicious, was a "very tragic incident".

Thousands of homes are without electricity after power lines were brought down in Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of northern England.

Northern Ireland Electricity said 29,000 homes were still waiting to be reconnected - and it could be days before they all have power. About 1,000 homes in Northern Ireland were also without water last night.

In Scotland, about 5,000 homes in Kintyre are without power, with a further 1,500 homes in the north and west of Arran also without supply.

Meanwhile the snow and ice is expected to cause continued problems on the nation's transport network.

The Met Office still has yellow "be aware" weather alerts in place sweeping from south-east England up to southern Scotland, covering Northern Ireland and north-east Wales.

Up to an inch of snow has fallen across eastern Scotland and central parts of England, the Midlands, East Anglia and Lincolnshire overnight.

Another inch will build up in the same areas throughout the day, spreading to east Wales and northern England.

Gareth Harvey, a senior forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "The snow is not going to be as heavy as the last few days but will fall throughout the day.

"It will still be windy as well, so any lying snow will be blown around.

"Away from where the snow is falling, it's going to be a quieter day.

"Areas which have seen heavy rain like the south-west will have a chance to recover and river levels will begin to drop."

Temperatures will linger around freezing point for most of the UK, but the south-east will be the "exception", where there could be highs of six degrees, he added.

The Met Office also warned of a risk of ice: "Lying snow in many areas will melt on roads and pavements by day, refreezing by night to give icy patches.

"Also, snow blowing off fields in strong to gale force winds will affect some roads, especially over high ground."

The severe weather is also thought to have led to the death of a woman in Cornwall on Friday. The woman, named locally as Susan Norman, died when her house in Looe, Cornwall, collapsed during a landslip following torrential rain.

The weather has wreaked havoc across the transport network over the last two days, with delays on roads, railways and runways.

Runways at some airports closed temporarily, including Humberside Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport and Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport.

Motorists have been urged by the Highways Agency to be cautious and check conditions before setting out.

In Cumbria, where 70 people were stranded in their cars on Friday night, drivers were warned not to travel unless it was absolutely necessary.

Many sports fixtures, including Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Russia and two race meetings, were called yesterday off due to snow.

The British Red Cross was brought in to help transport medical staff and patients to hospitals after roads in North Wales became impassable.

Hospital staff, paramedics and renal patients were driven to hospital in the Wrexham and Flintshire areas by volunteers, using 4x4 vehicles to negotiate treacherous roads.

David Hallows, service manager for emergency response for the Red Cross in North Wales, said: "I've never seen snow like it. It's a metre thick in places and it's not drifting."

North Wales Mountain Rescue Association advised anyone travelling into the region not to rely on satellite navigation devices in case they lead them on to untreated minor roads which could be dangerous.

North Wales Police said the north eastern area of the force had been worst hit, with significant snowfalls in Wrexham, Flintshire and south Denbighshire.

Most major routes are now passable with care, but the force urged motorists to exercise caution.

Chief Inspector Dave Roome said: "Due to the extreme weather conditions the emergency services are experiencing difficulty in reaching certain areas, please understand that it make take longer to respond to incidents.

"We are also urging people to check on neighbours and vulnerable people to ensure they are safe."

The unseasonal weather comes as the UK prepares to enter British Summer Time next Sunday. Bookmakers Ladbrokes have cut the odds of snow at Easter to 4/5 after taking a flurry of bets in the past 48 hours. If it does snow, it would be the first white Easter in five years.

Forecasters have predicted it could be the coldest March in 50 years. In 1962, average temperatures for the month were 2.8C (37F).

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