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BRUM BRACED AS SNOW RETURNS.

Byline: Kat Baldwyn

SNOW swept back into Birmingham causing travel chaos as forecasters warned the big freeze was set to engulf the whole country this weekend.

Eight flights were cancelled at Birmingham Airport because of ice and snow in other parts of the UK and the runway was briefly closed so it could be de-iced.

A spokesman for Birmingham Airport said: "Once the runway was de-iced and the snow cleared up and it was fine, but we will have to wait and see what the next couple of days bring.

"Passengers are advised to ensure they leave enough time to get to the airport for their flight as the roads my be congested."

West Midlands Ambulance Service appealed to the public not to go outside or travel unless absolutely necessary after receiving 50 per cent more calls yesterday than a week ago.

A spokesman said: "A huge number of these calls are reports of slips, trips and falls as people venture out into the snow and onto icy conditions.

Clearly many of these could have been avoided if the journey was not essential."

Walsall's match against Southampton, due to take place this afternoon, was also called off because of snow.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings across much of the UK, including the West Midlands.

Up to three inches of snow was expected today but forecasters said there was a possibility that as much as eight inches could fall in the West Midlands.

A spokeswoman for the Met Office said: "There is likely to be heavy snow in the Midlands but it is hard to say if it will affect Birmingham.

"More concerning is the risk of widespread ice. This will particularly affect untreated surfaces, which will make driving conditions very dangerous. We are urging motorists to take extra care.

"Temperatures will struggle to get above freezing during the day and at night time will remain well below freezing.

"Tomorrow there is still a risk of sleet and snow showers, possibly heavy, but again widespread ice looks like it will cause the main problems."

Today Light snow in the morning, possibly turning heavy in the afternoon.

Average daytime temperature -1 degrees, dropping to -5 degrees at night.

Widespread ice.

Tomorrow A lot of ice with the possibility of more snow showers throughout the day, along with sunny intervals.

Average daytime temperature -1 degrees, dropping to -5 degrees or below at night.

Monday Sunny with snow showers.

Daytime temperatures of 0 degrees, dropping to -5 degrees as night.

Widespread ice likely.

CAPTION(S):

Winter warning: Drivers on the M6 pass by the snow-covered houses of Castle Bromwich yesterday. Picture: Marcus Queenborough
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 18, 2010
Words:441
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