All the road closures, delays and school closures caused by snow in Leeds today

Leeds woke today to its first covering of snow this decade after an early morning flurry across the region.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 5:00 pm

Forecasters at the Met Office had issued a severe weather warning to prepare the city for heavy snow and right on cue, the flakes began to fall at around 5am.

Leeds was soon swathed in the white stuff, causing chaos on the early morning commute with traffic quickly grinding to a halt in parts of the city.

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YEP reader Russ Cowling sent in this photo of Pudsey at a standstill.

Leeds City Council tweeted that its gritters had been out at 3am and again at 5.30am but by 8am the city was becoming gridlocked as motorists battled against the heavy snow.

Some drivers were reporting delays of up to two hours in getting to work due to the wintry conditions, with various crashes on the road.

On the A58 in Scarcroft, one car flipped on its roof in the icy conditions at 7.30am and in Pudsey, a bus caused huge backlog after becoming stuck on the road.

Monday's snow at Roundhay Park, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

West Yorkshire Police issued a plea for drivers to avoid calling 999 unless absolutely necessary after they reported receiving hundreds of calls about crashes across the region.

Delays were also reported by bus company First West Yorkshire who took to social media at 8am to warn customers that "most of our services" were affected, due to the poor weather conditions across the city.

In some cases, the company said, buses were delayed by up to an hour.

Schoolchildren in parts of the city were also affected as schools chose to delay opening.

A total of 14 schools across Leeds, including Leeds West Academy, Guiseley School and Allerton High School, made the decision to open later, for the safety of staff and pupils, but most were open by 10am.

YEP readers took to Facebook to join the discussion and share pictures of snow covering cars, gardens and nearby roads.

Sandra Breakwell posted: "Three-and-a-half hours to go from Gilderson to Otley" and Dannii Marie wrote: "Taken me over three hours to get from Bramley to Halifax."

Tracey Lynette Moreton shared many readers' frustrations that the city's first snowfall had led to problems on the roads.

She wrote: "So Canada often has six feet to snow and still manages. Yet we have an inch of snow and we go to pot! And the country is at a standstill."

By 9am, most of the roads had turned to slush as the snowfall gave way to heavy rain - but that in turn led to flooding fears on the already-saturated ground across the city.

Seven flood alerts were issued for Leeds on Monday morning, covering catchments including the lower and middle River Aire and River Wharfe.

One flood warning was also issued for Allerton Bywater after Allerton Ings spilled.

It was still in place on Monday afternoon but the Government's flood information service reported that river levels had been falling throughout the day.

Forecasters at the Met Office told the YEP it was unclear exactly how many inches fell in the city but said its nearest official monitoring station, in Bingley, reported 6cm at 7am.

And the spokesman confirmed that while the region had seen snow fall in January, Monday's whiteout was the first record of snow settling on the ground this year.

A yellow weather warning remains in place until 10am on Tuesday, with forecasters predicting icy patches due to wintry showers could lead to possible hazardous travel across the north.

The bleak outlook follows more than a fortnight of downpours and flooding that started with Storm Ciara, continued with Storm Dennis and kept going with the weekend's storms, which, contrary to some reports, have not been named by the Met Office.