Shropshire weather: End of the cold snap edges closer but conditions still treacherous
Welcome to day five of the Beast from the East – and possibly its final performance.
Temperatures were today edging above freezing, and by Monday it will be a positively balmy 7C (45F).
But in the meantime there is plenty of chaos continuing across a snow-weary region, with many roads still in a dangerous condition and many events cancelled.
This morning the A41 remained closed between Weston Heath and Newport, with council team hoping to clear the road later today. Near Much Wenlock a car ended up on its roof after crashing in the snow on the A4169.
Twitter user @shropshirewalks tweeted this amazing photo from Drury Lane between Plox Green and Bentlawnt, near Minsterley.
More than 300 schools in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales were closed to pupils yesterday as the dry air from the east met Storm Emma.
Snow fell and strong gales created huge drifts blocking minor roads and bringing delays to major routes.
While the M54 was flowing freely, it was a different story on the A5, A41 and A49.
Stretches of the A5, A41 and A49 were all blocked by stranded lorries and the A41 remained closed overnight between Tern Hill and Weston Park.
The Met Office says Shropshire can expect further light snowfall on Saturday, but temperatures will begin to rise up to a maximum of 3°C.
It said there would be hazardous ice and snow in some places to start the day, with further light snowfall likely at times. As temperatures starting to lift above zero, some of the ice and snow may start to melt into the afternoon.
More snowfall is expected overnight on Saturday, although this is likely to turn increasingly to rain by the morning, as the air becomes less cold. The overnight minimum temperature is expected to be -4°C.
On Sunday, outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow are expected, with the snow mainly confined to the hills and high ground, as temperatures gradually start to rise, up to a maximum temperature of 5°C.
A yellow alert for ice is in place from 11am on Saturday until 11am on Sunday.
The Met Office says: "Icy stretches will continue to be likely on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths during the rest of Saturday onwards into Sunday.
"In addition some snow is likely at times, although away from higher ground in Wales, eastern Northern Ireland, the Midlands and northern England amounts are likely to be small. As a result, driving conditions may become difficult and there is an increased chance of injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces."
This afternoon West Mercia Police Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said: "As we enter the weekend it appears the worst of this adverse weather may be behind us, but conditions are still very tricky and we still need people to take care.
"Many roads remain treacherous due to the snow and ice, so the advice still remains to only travel if you really need to. If you do need to travel, follow your local weather forecasts to help plan your journey, make sure your car is properly prepared and that you have warm clothing.
"Throughout this period of bad weather we have made sure we have had the people and resources in place to deal with the conditions and maintain our service to our communities, and this will continue throughout the weekend. We also continue to work with all our partner agencies to make sure that together we are protecting the vulnerable in our communities.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our workforce and volunteers for the way they have risen to the challenge presented by the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, and gone the extra mile for us in the service of our communities."
While the situation improved through the morning yesterday, fresh snow moved into the region in the afternoon and last night.
Many concerts and theatre performances have been cancelled, while both Shrewsbury Town's home game and AFC Telford's away match have been postponed.
Tern Hill Captain David Maggs led a group of almost 50 soldiers deployed across Shropshire as part of a drive to get staff and patients to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's princess Royal.
He said: "We received the call late on Thursday, and we were ready to go at 6am. We have teams on shift and they will be available 24/7.
"We have the guys on the ground, and the guys in the operation room planning the visits. It is like a big taxi service, it is a bit more glorified than that but that is essentially what it is.
"We are expecting to be on call for another 24 hours, and then we have to wait and see beyond that."
Meanwhile people trying to use public transport yesterday were thwarted and are likely to face further disruption today.
Arriva cancelled many of its bus services and there were no trains running between Shrewsbury and South Wales, Aberyswyth and Welshpool.
Of course there are plenty out there who enjoy the snow:
And for one of the first times in the last decade, Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall near Oswestry has frozen.
Adrian Moller lives near the waterfall in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Powys, and took stunning pictures that have been shared by hundreds of people on social media.
Updates from Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands: