Up to 25cm of snow expected on higher ground tomorrow
FORECASTERS are predicting a "fairly high" risk of snow falling in Bristol and the surrounding area tomorrow.
The Met Office has issued an amber alert of snow for the area, which means accumulations of more than 10 to 15cm of snow could well occur quite widely, with the risk of 25cm or more over high ground.
Winds are also predicted to strengthen and blizzard conditions are likely, especially over high ground.
The amber alert means that residents should "be prepared", as there is potential for severe disruption, especially during tomorrow morning's rush hour.
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The cold air mass that has stagnated over much of the UK in the last few days is due to move towards the south west – with snow likely to begin to fall during the early hours of Friday morning.
Currently light snow is predicted to fall at 6am, which changes to heavy snow at 9am and at 12 noon. At 3pm and 6pm light snow is then again expected.
Dan Williams, spokesman for the Met Office, told The Post: "There is a fairly high possibility of snow in Bristol tomorrow on Friday.
"We have issued an amber alert for snow for an area that Bristol just falls into, and there is also a yellow alert for a much bigger area around Bristol.
"In the amber area we expect to see between 10 to 15cm of snow, while in the yellow area we expect to see up to 10cm.
"This is likely to fall during the early hours of Friday, which will just coincide with Bristol's rush hour.
"It is likely there will be some transport disruption and the advice would be for everyone to keep their eyes on local transport and travel updates and to check the weather forecasts. People must be prepared to change their plans."
The cold front looks set to move east during Saturday, with some light snow expected for Saturday morning.
Bristol City Council currently has 900 tonnes of grit stored at its Hartcliffe Depot, with another 600 tonnes at Avonmouth docks. In the event of hard weather, the council grits the main routes into the city, and the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path is gritted in "very severe" weather.
Pedestrians and residents have the use of 750 grit bins, which are placed around the city.
Helpful residents in hilly areas have been designated as snow wardens and 35 grit bags have been filled for their distribution. There are also plans to make up to 100 community grit dumps if heavy snow is forecast.
Latest information on council services affected by severe weather, including school closures and details of winter gritting routes, is available on council websites.
For more details of the forecast visit our weather pages.