WINTRY showers today, Thursday, November 30, will be followed by freezing temperatures overnight which could make conditions hazardous, warns Devon County Council.
It says its gritters are being called into action again this evening and people across the county are being advised to be alert to the possibility of icy patches tonight and into tomorrow, particularly on untreated routes.
The Met Office has issued a Yellow Weather Warning for ice from 10pm tonight until 10am tomorrow morning.
Road surface temperatures are forecast to fall even lower than last night and are expected to reach -5C in some areas.
They are not likely to rise above freezing until around 9am or 10am tomorrow and anyone travelling in the morning could face challenging conditions.
Gritters have been out on Devon’s main gritting routes since 2pm in parts of the county, but they will continue working through the night. The busiest cycle routes in Exeter have also been treated.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “This is the worst possible mix of weather, with roads left wet and damp from the snow and sleet and then freezing later on.
“Our teams will be out in difficult conditions later to ensure that gritting routes are salted. The forecast of freezing temperatures means there could be issues with ice, especially off the gritting network, but please remember that ice can even form on treated routes.
“Think about whether your journey is essential tomorrow or whether it can be delayed, but if you are heading out please take extra care.”
The County Council is reminding everyone of the following advice:
• Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that showers or rain will wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice, and in extreme cold even salting will not stop ice from forming;
• Allow additional time for your journey;
• Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front;
• Drive with care and according to the conditions;
• If you have vulnerable or elderly neighbours, think about how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell;
• Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long-term illness or are 65 or over. The NHS website has more information on staying healthy during cold weather;
• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions and ensure you are stocked with food and medications.