Brrr! More storms and ice on the way
Updated 8:47pm Sunday 2nd February 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
ICE could well prove the biggest issue for people in Swindon and the surrounding area today as temperatures plummet and surfaces remain coated in yesterday’s heavy rain.
The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for ice in the county today.
Temperatures are forecast to drop to one degree celsius early this morning, which will feel more like minus four according to the weather service.
The weather warning was issued shortly after yesterday lunchtime and has warned people to be aware of a wintry mix of showers coming in from the west, which, when washed away, may lead to ice.
Sleet is expected in Swindon at 6am, with heavy showers forecast right the way through the day and night from noon onwards.
The adverse weather is likely to play havoc with many outdoor activities going on in the town.
The first casualty of the weekend is Swindon Sub Aqua Club’s annual sponsored swim, which was due to take place on Sunday morning.
The event has already been postponed once, when bad weather forced a change of dates on January 21.
Due to start near the church in Inglesham, the swim was going to run for a couple of miles to St John’s Lock in Lechlade, but the river was not deemed safe enough for swimmers or spectators.
“The decision was taken on Wednesday,” said Jeff Bryan, chairman of Swindon SAC.
“You couldln’t see the banks of the river and that makes it unsafe.
“The river is 22 inches above normal at the moment. It was at seven inches on Sunday and then jumped to 22 by Wednesday.
“You could probably swim in it and shift, but if you have an incident, you couldn’t get to them.
“People also walk the banks with us as we swim, so the decision was taken for them as well.
“I can’t see even setting a date for the rescheduled swim until it stops raining.
“It’s going to take two or three weeks for the river to go down. We are supposed to have bad storms all through this weekend.
“A month away would be a realistic time frame.”
Transport, as ever, is also subject to change in light of the weather. First Great Western said it is monitoring forecasts for the weekend and has contingency plans in place to deal with whatever occurs.
First Great Western’s Dan Paines said: “At the moment we aren’t looking too bad.
“We have obviously got one eye on the weather and some of the issues Network Rail might face in terms of flooding.
“The route from Bristol Parkway to Swindon is, and has always been, a high-risk area when it comes to flooding.
“It is far from certain that any problems will occur, but if they do we have our usual contingency plans in place.
“We will divert trains via the Bristol Temple Meads route, if necessary.
“That does mean it will take longer, but at least it means we will be able to keep all services running.”
A Night at the Dogs at Abbey Stadium and Swindon Town’s home match with Oldham Athletic at the County Ground are both still scheduled to go ahead.
However, each venue will continue to monitor their surfaces right up until their events start.
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