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Is snow on the way for town?
IT MAY be March but Swindon is set to shiver this weekend as temperatures struggle to make it out of the minus numbers.
Following a bitterly cold week, the weekend is set to be even icier in the town as temperatures reach a high of just 2C today.
Light snow was forecast for this morning and was set to return this evening at about 9pm, continuing through the night and into the early hours of tomorrow.
Tomorrow, temperatures are set to stay below -1C all day, with weather forecasters warning residents to wrap up warm as wind gusts of up to 35mph will make it feel more like -8C.
Although no weather warnings have been issued for Swindon, the Environ-ment Agency has predicted further flooding in south west England because of persistent and heavy rain.
Further north, snow has blanketed many areas with up to eight inches expected to hit the worst-affected parts of north-west England, North Wales and south west Scotland.
The weather is a far cry from the same time last year in Swindon, when hundreds of school children, businesses and residents completed the Sport Relief mile in the sunshine and much warmer temperatures.
Over the same weekend in March last year, fitness fans took part in a Zumba flash mob at the Orbital as the sun shone, while Swindon Town FC set off to Wembley, along with their army of fans.
John Lee, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said it could be the coldest March in 50 years. He said the average temperature expected for central England at this time of year is 6C, but so far this month the average is 2.2 degrees below that, at 3.8C.
That is significantly colder than last March, when averages were 8.3C, 2.3 degrees above the expected average.
“Comparing it to similar winters, it’s provisionally going to be the coldest March in 50 years, although that can’t be confirmed until we reach the end of the month,” he said.
He said in 1962, average temperatures were even colder, at 2.8C. “That will take some beating,” he said. “But the way we are going it looks like we are heading towards being the coldest March since then.”
Yesterday, the Adver reported that South Western Ambulance Service was urging people to consider alternative ways to receive medical help without dialling 999 if possible, as the continuing cold weather contributes to a significant increase in demand.
The Trust as a whole is responding to up to 16 per cent more 999 calls than during the same period last year. Meanwhile, the Wiltshire golf course at Wootton Bassett closed yesterday and will remain closed over the weekend because of the weather. Officials will be inspecting the course on Monday to see when it can be opened again