Big freeze hits county as Norfolk is coldest place in England

The big freeze hit the county at the weekend with some of the lowest temperatures ever recorded in Norfolk.

Overnight on Friday as well as fresh snowfall, temperatures as low as minus 17 were reported in Buxton, making it one of the county's coldest nights ever.

Norfolk was also believed to have been the coldest place in England on Saturday, beating Scotland which had temperatures of around minus seven.

The low in Buxton was recorded by Charles Briscoe, who has long kept records of the weather in his village, while temperatures of -16 degrees were recorded in Oulton, near Corpusty by Steve Hagon, assistant head gardener at Blickling Hall, -14.6 degrees were recorded at Calthorpe in north Norfolk, and -12 degrees at Norwich International Airport.

Jonathan Dancaster, who has been recording the weather at his home in Calthorpe for more than 20 years, said: 'It was definitely an unusual night on Friday for temperatures, it is the coldest I have known it for some time.

'To get other temperatures as low, you would have to go back to 1985 when it was around minus 18.'

Forecasters from University of East Anglia-based Weatherquest, agreed that the readings suggested it had been one of the county's coldest nights ever - and said the chilly temperatures were set to continue right up until Christmas.

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Weatherquest's forecast currently runs until the middle of the month, and it shows there will continue to be a risk of snow at times until then.

Phil Garner, from the UEA-based Weatherquest, said the majority of the week was likely to be dryer with highs of three degrees Celsius during the daytime with some sharp night time frosts.

He said next weekend was likely to be slightly warmer with highs of five or six degrees Celsius, but he said this was still below average for the time of year.

The snowfall overnight on Friday left many with a hazardous journey into work or the shops on Saturday.

The A47 Acle Straight re-opened Saturday afternoon after an accident involving a number of vehicles which had gone off the road between the A1064 junction in Acle and the A12 junction in Great Yarmouth.

Around Norwich there were also a string of crashes in the icy conditions, including in Trowse Newton and in Hellesdon.

On Saturday families in the city woke up to covering of snow and some ice on the roads and pavements, but although it remained cold throughout the day, there were no further snow showers and blue skies for much of the day.

There were no snowfalls in Dereham, but again temperatures barely rose above freezing, staying at around -3 degrees all day, leaving some of the less-used pavements very icy.

Forecasters had predicated more snow would fall overnight on Saturday in the county, but despite just a few short showers, many places escaped a fresh covering.

On Saturday Norwich International Airport remained open, with some flights to Amsterdam cancelled, although by Sunday all flights were running as normal.

Trains were still running throughout the weekend although trains on many local line services, including those to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft were late because of signalling problems.