A third day of snow heaped more misery on the region yesterday - and today could be even worse. Olivia

Richwald reports.

SCHOOLS, roads, planes and sporting fixtures - nothing is immune to the cold blast of winter.

After a day's lull, the region was reeling from a renewed onslaught of Arctic weather yesterday.

Fresh snowfalls carpeted minor roads as an army of council gritter drivers worked around the clock to keep the major trunk roads - the A1, A69, A68 and A66 - clear.

Met office experts have warned high winds, drifting snow, and plummeting temperatures would cause dangerous driving conditions for the rest of the week.

In North Yorkshire, 40 schools closed after between two and four inches of snow fell overnight and prevented many teachers and pupils from travelling.

Blizzard conditions on the North York Moors closed the A169 between Whitby and Pickering yesterday morning.

Many smaller roads were only passable with extreme care and police said there was more than 25 minor accidents.

Yesterday's market in Northallerton was also affected, with several stallholders choosing to stay at home.

In County Durham, residents of Derwentside woke to about three inches of snow.

Earlier in the week, the bulk of the snow fell on the coastal strip, bringing rush-hour misery to east Durham - and the A19 in particular - but yesterday the North Pennines faced the worst of the snowfalls.

Side roads in Consett and Stanley were treacherous, but an army of gritters kept the main routes moving, with all major roads passable. Only one road, the C road over the moors linking Blanchland and Waskerley was closed - and it is likely to be impassable throughout today.

Heavy snowfalls in Teesside have prompted a last-minute clear-up operation to ensure Middlesbrough's UEFA Cup home tie goes ahead tonight.

The second leg game against Austrian team Grazer AK has attracted an army of volunteers to the Riverside Stadium to clear the pitch.

Council gritters were at work early this morning to clear roads and paths leading to the stadium.

With many schools in the region closed, there have been complaints of dozens of youngsters throwing snowballs in Darlington.

Police Inspector Billy Hugill said that since Monday there have been about 120 reports to police - many people calling police out to snowball fights.

Insp Hugill said: "We are trying our best, but it is draining our resources. People have to bear with us."

Although the town escaped the worst of yesterday's weather, snow caused havoc yesterday morning and Arriva bus services were only able to operate on main roads.

Durham Tees Valley Airport had to close for an hour at about 10am due to snow.

However, trains fared better with no major problems