Britons brace for icy fortnight

2010-11-26 19:23
London - Britain is braced for a freezing fortnight, with motorists warned to be wary on roads as sub-zero temperatures turn rain, sleet and snow to ice.

The unusually cold weather is set to last into next week, and Northern Ireland, west Wales and southwest England will bear the brunt of it.

The Met Office also issued heavy snow warnings for northern and northeast Scotland, as well as Britain's east coast.

Overnight, the coldest place was Carterhouse in the Scottish Borders, where the mercury dropped to -7.8°C, while temperatures in Kew Gardens in London sank to as low as -3.8°C.

A spokesperson for the AA said the number of call-outs on Friday morning had nearly doubled to around 1 600 per hour compared with the average for a Friday in November as drivers had difficulty starting their cars.

Schools in the areas hardest-hit were closed for a second day, with 80 shut in Aberdeenshire and 24 in Northumberland.

The wintry conditions may have been behind an incident at Newcastle airport on Thursday evening, where a passenger plane overshot the runway.

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