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Schools shut as fresh ice warning issued for the West Midlands

By Harry Leather | West Bromwich | News | Published:

Seven schools were closed across the Black Country and Staffordshire today after another weekend of snow and ice.

A cyclist navigates a snowy Wolverhampton road

The closures came as drivers were warned to take care on icy roads, with temperatures hovering below freezing and the Met Office issuing a yellow warning for ice overnight.

The vast majority of the region's primary and secondary schools opened as normal today, but heating issues and dangerous ice saw four primary schools, one middle school and two secondary schools shut for the day.

Daffodils droop in the snow at St Peter's Gardens

In Walsall, Brownhills School and North Walsall Primary Academy both closed due to the icy conditions, while heating and boiler failures shut Ridgewod High School in Stourbridge and Brewood Middle School in Staffordshire.

Redhill Primary School in Cannock, Temple Meadow Primary School in Cradley Heath and St. Mary Magdalene Primary in West Bromwich were all also closed.

All schools in Wolverhampton were open as normal.

Gritters were out in force treating the region's roads overnight, but icy stretches and slushy snow continued to create hazardous conditions on many smaller roads during the morning rush hour.

Temperatures were set to recover slightly in the afternoon and the Met Office said sunshine and light winds would make the air feel noticeably less cold, with a maximum temperature of 4C (39F).

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WATCH the Monday morning weather forecast:

Monday mid-morning forecast 19/03/18

However the mercury was set to drop again on Monday evening, with the yellow 'be aware' ice warning beginning at 7pm and ending at 9am on Tuesday.

The alert, which covers all of Wales and the vast majority of England, warns of ice forming where new wintry showers fall tonight or where untreated roads are left wet after snow melts today.

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Another fine day is expected on Tuesday after a frosty start, with a slightly higher maximum temperature of 7C (45F) forecast.

Treacherous driving conditions along Lichfield Road in Walsall Wood

Elsewhere, more than 80 people spent the night at a school in south west England after heavy snow shut a 64-mile stretch of road between the M5 at Exeter and the A38 at Bodmin.

Met Office meteorologist John West said: “It’s been a very, very cold night overnight with widespread frost. A lot of the lying snow seen across the country over the weekend has created some icy stretches this morning.

“In the South West, we’ve seen a constant flow of snow coming in from the English Channel with snow depths going up and up.

“In Exeter, we have at least 10cm (4in) of snow lying at the moment.

“Many routes towards Dartmoor and Exmoor have the potential to see a lot of disruption because of ice this morning.”

On Sunday, ice led to delays and cancellations at Gatwick Airport – with 37 flights axed.

Harry Leather

By Harry Leather
Digital Journalist - @hleather_star

Digital journalist covering breaking news across the region from the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton.

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