Heavy snow is falling across the Burnham-On-Sea area, with a Met Office red warning remaining in force this evening (Thursday).
Up to 20 centimetres of snow could fall in the Burnham area by the end of Friday – and Police are urging drivers not to use local roads.
Strong winds and sub-zero temperatures are creating treacherous conditions across the area. After freeezing rain overnight, more snow is forecast on Friday afternoon.
While main roads have been gritted, side roads in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge are not salted and are covered by snow and ice, creating dangerous conditions.
Panic buying at stores: Supermarkets in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge reported ‘panic buying’ of essentials – full report here.
Local schools closed on Friday March 2nd will be Berrow Primary, Brent Knoll School, Burnham on Sea Infants School, Churchfield in Highbridge, East Brent Academy, East Huntspill, King Alfred School in Highbridge, Mark First & Pre School Academy, Pawlett Primary, St Andrews in Burnham, St Josephs, Kings of Wessex Academy, Wedmore First School Academy and West Huntspill.
BBC Points West weather forecaster Ian Fergusson says the Burnham-On-Sea area could see snowfall accumulating to between 5cm-20+cm of snow, as shown on the map.
He says there are “varied uncertainties about the exact amount of snow” and adds that freeezing rain could also be an added danger, creating hazardous road and pavement conditions in the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area.
The Met Office says temperatures won’t rise above freezing all day across the Burnham-On-Sea area, but the wind-chill will make it feel more like -10C.
There have been icy scenes on Burnham-On-Sea beach this week as a long line of ice and slush has been left along the high tide line. The bitterly cold temperatures sank in Burnham to -5C overnight and the windchill is making it feel closer to -10C.
The bad weather has led to several public events being postponed:
Saturday’s Friends of Burnham-On-Sea Beach Clean has been postponed due to the poor weather.
The planned litter pick for the Great British Spring Clean was cancelled on Friday at Apex Park. The rearranged date will be announced soon.
The Burnham-On-Sea Women’s World Day of Prayer which was to be held on Friday at the Catholic Church has been postponed until Friday 23rd March due to the severe weather.
Incredibly, the meteorological start of spring was today – Thursday 1st March – but flower displays like this one in Burnham-On-Sea are looking decidedly wintry.
With temperatures falling, Somerset County Council says it is making sure it is ready to cope and keep disruption to a minimum.
Gritting of main roads across the Burnham-On-Sea will take place, but side roads may well be slippery.
Leader of the council, Councillor David Fothergill, says: “Of course we don’t know how bad conditions will be but we are geared up and well-prepared to make sure it’s ‘business as usual’ so far as possible.”
“I’d like to thank in advance the staff who will be going the extra mile to keep any disruption to a minimum. We have great working relationships with our partners and providers and that is really important when it comes to working together in difficult conditions.”
Public Health England said it is “critical” to keep an eye on anyone over 65, young children or people with heart or lung conditions.
Pictured: Icy conditions at Apex Park in Highbridge this week
Dr Thomas Waite, of PHE’s Extreme Events team, said: “With more cold and for some snow on the way, now is the time to think ahead. Consider what you need to stock up on, do you need food or essential supplies such as medicines? It may be harder for some people to get out later this week when more snow arrives, so if you know someone at risk, someone with heart or lung conditions, young children or who is over 65, please take the time to check and see if there’s anything they need.”
“Also remember that we are not all used to temperatures like this so keep homes heated to at least 18 degrees. If you’re able to clear paths of snow or ice, do so. Everyone should keep up to date with weather forecasts so you’re not caught out. Staying well in conditions like this can be a challenge, so if you can check on someone whose health may be at risk, please do.”
Pictured: Icy scenes on Burnham-On-Sea beach this week
The Met Office has warned that there could be delays and cancellations to public transport. It has also cautioned that there could be interruptions to power supplies and other utilities. The amber weather warning covers Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge, Brent Knoll, Brean and the Huntspills in our area.
The weather is due to become slightly milder from Sunday onwards, with 5-6C daytime temperatures for the Burnham-On-Sea area by Monday.