WARRINGTON Borough Council has revealed its gritting preparation ahead of the first widespread frost of autumn tonight, Friday.

A further cold spell is forecast for next week, with temperatures falling across much of the UK and lows of -5C possible.

It will remain predominantly dry through Friday and Saturday, with any showery rain confined to the east coast.

Wetter interludes will move in from the west and north on Sunday, bringing rain for many through Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, before clearing to the south and southeast on Monday afternoon.

It will turn colder again through Monday evening with a return to widespread overnight frosts.

Conditions will also be largely dry, though some rain showers along the east coast could turn to sleet over higher ground.

A council spokesman said: “Between October and April, we operate a winter service to monitor the weather forecast and ensures that gritting takes place across the network as and when required.

“Forecasts are monitored throughout the day, and gritting teams are on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We have six dedicated gritting vehicles to cover our gritting routes and we have 1,800 tonnes of grit, which is replenished throughout the season.

“Last winter, we gritted our primary routes 46 times.

“You can find out more and view our gritting routes at warrington.gov.uk/gritting.”

Dan Harris, the Met Office’s deputy chief meteorologist, added: “Early next week, following a brief more unsettled interlude, we expect to see a return to widely cold but quiet conditions.

“Some rain or showers are likely to affect some parts of the east coast, and these could turn increasingly wintry over higher ground areas towards the middle of the week.

“Thereafter, confidence in the detailed forecast falls, which is typical when looking this far ahead.

“It does look as though there will be a trend towards something more unsettled, as areas of cloud and rain attempt to move across the UK.

“At present, the most likely outcome beyond mid-week is that rain from the west slowly moves east, with snow possible over higher ground, and a continued risk of showers over eastern parts.

“However, there is a chance that a more active weather system arrives from the southwest, which would bring more widespread rain, stronger winds, and the potential for more significant snowfall should the air over the UK become sufficiently cold ahead of it.

“Either way, a continuation of colder than average conditions seems most likely, and more details will become clear over the coming days.

“As you would expect, we will be monitoring developments in the forecast closely.”