Leicestershire is bracing itself for one of the coldest weekends of the winter
Leicestershire is bracing itself for one of the coldest weekends of the winter – with windchill making the temperature feel as low as -8C.
Between four and six inches of snow have been predicted to fall today, with blizzard conditions forecast for the next few days.
Although temperatures are predicted to remain between -2C (28F) and 0C (32F), the Met Office said due to windchill factor it could feel as low as -8C (18F).
The city's football and rugby clubs were both working hard today to ensure important matches can go ahead.
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Leicester City hope to beat Middlesbrough tonight, while on Sunday Tigers will be taking on Toulouse for a place in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup.
Leicester Mercury weatherman Dave Mutton said: "It looks like being the coldest weekend of the winter so far and we're going to have bitter, blizzard conditions. It's certainly not going to be nice for walking around and people going to the sports matches will want to wrap up very warm.
"I'm expecting anything between four and six inches of snow.
"The councils are well stocked up with grit but the sheer volume of snow could cause problems on side roads."
At the Tigers a club spokesman said: "We've got a frost sheet down and a dome over the pitch with warm air being pumped in. That's been in place since Wednesday."
Club sponsor Caterpillar has a vehicle on standby to scoop snow off the pitch ahead of kick-off at 3pm on Sunday.
At Leicester City's King Power Stadium staff are counting on their underground heating system to avoid having to cancel a game due to weather for the first time in the stadium's history.
East Midlands Trains warned passengers to check services are running before setting off for the station, by calling 0871 200 4950 or visiting:
Neil Micklethwaite, of East Midlands Trains, said: "We are conscious that some very severe weather conditions have been predicted.
"We put a huge amount of planning into preparing for the bad weather to keep our services running for customers.
"However, as with any form of transport, there are times when it will have an impact on the service we can operate."
Refuse collections in Blaby district began early at 6.30am today in order to get as many bins emptied before the snow arrived.
Chris Bilby, manager of the fire service's technical rescue team, said: "The cold and icy weather greatly increases the risk of being involved in a road traffic collision.
"Check the weather forecasts and traffic news before you leave the house. Plan your journey and try to stick to major routes."