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Wintry weather strikes yet again; Met Office predicts 25cm of snow could fall.

SNOW warnings are back in force today with more wintry weather set to sweep the region.

The Met Office yesterday raised its severe weather warning from yellow to amber, predicting up to 25cm could to fall in parts of Northumberland.

While Newcastle escaped yesterday with sleet and showers, snow brought chaos to parts of County Durham and the A66 transpennine route came to a standstill with people trapped in their cars for up to five hours.

But now the snow showers are expected to head north and Northumberland is due to be hardest hit, with the heaviest snowfall due later today.

Forecasters predicted five to 10cm at low levels with 15 to 25cm possible over upland areas.

Strong to gale-force easterly winds will drift the snow, especially over high ground where blizzard conditions are expected and could cause further problems in terms of snow clearance.

Ice on power lines is likely and could result in temporary interruptions to power supplies.

However, coastal and southern areas of the region could escape with sleet and rain.

John Lee, a forecaster for MetEOGROUP, said: "By Wednesday it starts to ease off. Through the course of Wednesday the snow showers will retreat back, mainly affecting the North Sea coast.

"Because of the strong easterly winds in the north, many parts of the North East and Scotland will struggle to get above three degrees."

He added temperatures could potentially drop as low as minus 10C (14F) or even minus 15C (5F), depending on how much snow arrives and the wind direction.

Further snow showers are expected again on Friday.

The Met Office forecasts scattered, mostly light, wintry showers and sunny intervals, tomorrow, becoming cloudy later on Thursday. Friday will be cloudy, cold, with heavy snow and very strong winds.

So far this month is said to have been the coldest in over a quarter of a century.

But forecasters predict we will not see a white Easter.

The last time the UK experienced such a cold March day was on March 1, 1986.

In contrast, this time two years ago the country was basking in balmy temperatures of up to 17C (63F).


TRAFFIC CHAOS Snow on A66 in County Durham; right, a woman in Newcastle

BITING TEMPERATURES Shoppers wrap up warmly against the bitter wind in Newcastle city centre
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 19, 2013
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