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No respite as snowy spell continues
Fresh snow has fallen across many parts of the UK overnight, continuing a week of disruption to schools, airports and traffic networks.
Up to 3.5in (9cm) has already fallen in some of the worst affected areas, including southern England, south-west England, the West Midlands and Wales. Northern Scotland and northern England also had a further dumping of around 2cm (0.8in). The snow is expected to ease throughout the day when it will become confined to south Wales and south-west England.
The severe weather has already caused havoc up and down the country this week with hundreds of schools closed, dozens of flights cancelled and many train networks disrupted.
It has also led to the deaths of at least nine people, including a man who is believed to have died after slipping on ice near his home in in Accrington, Lancashire after a night out. Police said on Tuesday that James Hurst, 54, fell over after he had been dropped off by taxi following an evening at a local pub on Saturday.
Neighbours saw his body lying near a doorstep close to his address in Worsley Street at about 8am the next day. Police confirmed Mr Hurst suffered a head injury which they were treating as an accident.
Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating whether a fatal crash on Tuesday morning may have occurred because of icy conditions. Police confirmed that a 42-year-old local man died following the two-vehicle collision on the A38 Parkway in Plymouth - one of the region's busiest roads - shortly before 6am. It resulted in the road being closed for 10 hours.
Temperatures hovered around freezing point in much of the UK overnight but dipped to minus 6.1C (21F) in Shap, Cumbria and minus 4.2C (24F) in north-west Scotland.
Nick Prebble, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the fresh dumping will fall on already frozen snow for many areas. He said: "There will more disruption to come today no doubt with reports that up to 9cms (3.5in) have already fallen in Hampshire and around seven in the Midlands, Hereford, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
"The snow will ease through the day for most areas, but with a further 3cm (1.2in) expected later in the day for south Wales and parts of south-west England. While tomorrow is expected to be mainly dry, we are predicting a major snow event again on Friday with up to 10cms (3.9in) possible in some areas."
But he added that the weekend and next week should be much milder, without the risk of snow. The Met Office has amber warnings in place in south west England and Wales, urging the public to take extra care against freezing temperatures, ice and snow. Yellow warnings highlighting a risk of disruption to transport affect all but northern Scotland in the UK.