WEATHERMEN have warned that further snow and ice are on their way to York and North and East Yorkshire next week, after a brief respite over the next few days.

The worst December weather in nearly 30 years is taking a break today and over the weekend, with temperatures in York set to rise as high as 5C on Sunday as milder air from the Atlantic streams across the country.

But forecasters say bitterly cold north-easterly winds are expected to return by early next week, bringing an increasing risk of a return of snow showers across our region. Showers brought in on similar winds last week dumped a foot of snow in the York area.

Meteorologists British Weather Services said the UK and Ireland were “solidly on course for the coldest December since 1890 and possibly one of the three snowiest ever, vying with the Decembers of 1981 and 1878 for the dubious honour”.

It said the run up to Christmas and the Christmas period could be a “living nightmare”.

Forecasters said the big freeze is expected to last until the end of the month, with a widespread risk of ice, frost and snow showers.

The predictions have led bookmakers to slash the odds for a white Christmas to 9/4. Alex Donohue, of Ladbrokes, said that punters who were snowed in last week brought its telephone lines and website to near meltdown with a flurry of bets for a white Christmas. “Every day that the weather stays like this we cut the odds and pray,” he said.

Meanwhile, North Yorkshire Police have warned motorists that they risk being issued with a fixed penalty notice if they drive without first fully clearing their windows of ice.

A spokesman said it was an offence to drive without clear visibility through the windscreen and other windows, and motorists should leave sufficient time to scrape off ice and use de-icer spray before setting off.

Police have also issued a warning to drivers who start their cars in their driveway or on the road outside their homes and then go back inside, leaving the engine running until the windows are free of ice.

A force spokesman said such actions risked thieves climbing inside and driving off.

Anger after village’s electricity supply cut in middle of cold snap

A VILLAGE near York was left without electricity during the current cold snap because the regional power company said it had to carry out essential tree trimming.

Residents of Hutton Wandesley, near Long Marston, said common sense had “gone out of the window” after energy firm NEDL turned off electricity to about 30 homes yesterday.

Pensioner Mo Woolley said she was relying on a small camping stove and her log fire after villagers received a letter on November 30 informing them the electricity could be out from 8.30am to 5pm yesterday. She said: “They said it was to do with tree felling.

“It seems ludicrous that they have decided to do this in this weather. There are people here who are elderly – it just seems incredible.”

Her neighbour, 70-year-old Thomas Robinson, said he had told NEDL several times that trees were growing too close to power lines in the area. “I think it’s ridiculous that in the middle of this cold spell they are going to do this work on trees which have been growing so much that they are tangled around the cables.”

The village also has no link to the local gas network, and Mr Robinson said he too was relying on a camping stove and an old Calor Gas heater.

Despite repeated requests for a response from NEDL, none was forthcoming.