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Weather slip-up by forecasters; SNOW JOKE: Midlanders wake up to rain and higher temperatures.

Byline: By Dayle Crutchlow and Sam Webb

FEARS of heavy snow in the Midlands proved unfounded today as Coventry and Warwickshire woke up to rain and sleet.

Weathermen had predicted snow and blizzards in most areas including the Midlands. Gritters were out in Coventry and Warwickshire at 6am today because of fears that freezing temperatures could make wet roads dangerous, but all roads were clear at dawn.

Snow fell in some other areas of the country, but the worst of the freeze was predicted to end today, with temperatures due to rise over the weekend.

Steve Jackson, who has run the weather station at Coventry's Bablake School said: "Temperatures are set to rise to 3C today so any snow will be turning to rain as milder air invades from the west, with 5C by the early hours of tomorrow, with a showery, breezy day to follow.

"The weekend should be frost free with Sunday possibly dry in north-westerly winds. The outlook is very mild early next week."

Coventry had its coldest day of 2005 on Tuesday, with temperatures down to below - 2C and the freezing temperatures have led to a rise in the sale of gloves, coats and scarves in the city.

Clothes shops have had to re-order stock as temperatures plummeted.

Edward Harman, manager of Millets outdoor shop in Smithford Way in the city centre, said: "We have been selling out of stock of gloves and hats.

"It just shows how worried people are about how cold it is, especially older people."

Meanwhile, police have warned motorists about the dangers of driving in the ice and snow and urged people to slow down.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 30, 2005
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