Severe weather in Cheshire and Merseyside

Media captionThere is a Met Office "amber alert" in force for much of central and southern England. Chester, where schools have been closed, is bracing itself for more snow to come.

More than 100 schools closed early because of snowfall across Merseyside and Cheshire.

Some schools were closed on Friday morning, with many others across the region closing at lunchtime.

Saturday's meeting at Haydock was abandoned, with an inch of snow already on the ground and more forecast.

Drivers were being warned to take care on the A51 Tarvin Road in Chester between Challinor Street and Shed Lane because of snow and ice.

At Liverpool John Lennon airport flights were running as normal and staff are clearing the runways.

Passengers are being advised to check with their airlines before they fly.

Matches postponed

Some Merseyrail services were being delayed due to the weather, with Northern and Wirral Line trains being delayed by up to eight minutes.

Liverpool City Council said it was preparing to use special blowers to clear pavements in the city centre in the event of a major snowfall.

All football matches due to be played on council playing fields in Sefton, Liverpool, St Helens and Wirral have been postponed.

Sefton Council said its decision followed discussions with the football leagues.

At Haydock, Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright said he made an early call on Saturday's meeting.

"We have to be realistic, we are white over now and could not race," he said.

"This isn't as much as we are expecting, it's just an opening shot and there's no point in deluding ourselves."

The Met Office is forecasting windy weather with outbreaks of snow spreading through the region from the south.

It is expected to remain windy and cloudy overnight, with further patchy snow.

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