Update: Light snow expected across Derbyshire later today
DERBYSHIRE is expected to see light snow fall at around 3pm today, according to the Met Office. This will continue in to the evening with temperatures struggling to reach above freezing. Authorities are confident they are ready to cope with snow expected to hit Derbyshire tomorrow.
Weather experts are expecting up to 10cm to fall throughout the day, with temperatures remaining below zero C.
Areas in North Derbyshire could experience blizzard conditions with high winds and up to 15cm of snow.
And while the heaviest snow will fall throughout tomorrow, further flurries could be seen throughout Saturday as well.
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East Midlands Airport has volunteers on hand to help clear pathways around the site, while schools around the city are drawing up "snow plans" to try to remain open.
Both da Vinci Community College and Noel Baker School, in Derby, have vowed to do so.
A Derby Telegraph online poll revealed that a majority felt schools were too quick to close after snow fell on Sunday night.
And Derby County was today in discussions to finalise plans to try and make sure Saturday's home match against Nottingham Forest goes ahead.
Derby City Council was last night gritting main roads throughout the night and was set to give pedestrian areas in the city centre a fresh coating of salt at 8am this morning, while the county council was due to cover major routes twice last night and secondary routes once this morning, with both authorities planning further gritting tonight.
Last year, about 15cm of snow fell across Derbyshire at the beginning of February, causing East Midlands Airport to close for eight hours, bus companies to cancel popular services and the RAC to experience a boost of 50% in the number of call-outs it might normally expect.
A Met Office spokesman said: "There is potential for a lot of disruption on Friday and we are advising people to check their local forecasts."
He said there was a possibility a very slight amount of snow may fall today.
Mark Cottingham, head teacher at da Vinci Community College, said a snow plan was in place and that parents would be alerted by text message to keep them aware.
He said: "If it snows on Friday we will make our decision at or just after 6am, as usual.
"We do, however, have two GCSE exams taking place and, no matter what happens, they will go ahead.
"It may be that we do not have enough staff to open the school fully but there will certainly be enough staff available to ensure that pupils who are taking those exams are still able to come to the school and do so."
At Noel Baker, head teacher Mal Kerr said the school fully intended to open tomorrow.
He said: "The process begins the day before with making the site as safe as possible and then we all watch the weather carefully – usually from 4am to try to work out the risk factors."
Support group Community Action Derby is also offering grants of up to £500 to voluntary groups who want to clear snow in their neighbourhood, or help vulnerable people in bad weather by arranging transport to lunch clubs or collect supplies for them.
Application forms are available on the Community Action website at www.communityactionderby.org.uk