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UK snow: Freezing conditions hit evening rush hour

December 10, 2017

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Media captionBBC forecaster Darren Bett says temperatures will plunge below zero on Monday night

A quarter of flights at Heathrow have been cancelled as bad weather continues to affect parts of the UK.

Drivers have been warned of “treacherous” conditions after snow turned to ice, while rail travel across England and Wales has been affected.

There have also been delays to ferry services between Dover and Calais.

The wintry conditions forced hundreds of schools to close on Monday, while several thousand homes remain without power amid heavy snow and high winds.

Up to 30cm (12in) of snow fell in some areas, and overnight into Monday, temperatures dropped to -12C (10F) in Chillingham Barns, Northumberland.

Yellow Met Office warnings for snow and ice are in place for Wales, Northern Ireland, parts of Scotland, the Midlands and south east of England, continuing into Tuesday.

There is a risk of up to 5cm of additional snow on higher ground in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, but it is not expected to settle at lower levels.

BBC weather forecaster Steve Cleaton said hazardous conditions would continue in the coming days, although snowfall would be less than that seen at the weekend.

“A perishingly cold night is expected as we move through Monday evening into Tuesday, with another widespread and severe frost, and temperatures plummeting to below -10C across any snowfields,” he said.

More than 400 schools closed in Wales on Monday, and in Birmingham, the city council shut all of its local authority-run schools.

Hundreds more are closed in Buckinghamshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Denbighshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.

Image caption This snowy Monday commute was on the A21 in Hastings

Image copyrightReuters
Image caption A car turns around after a fallen tree blocks the A40 near Sennybridge, Wales, on Sunday

Elsewhere, wintry conditions are causing significant travel disruption:

  • Chiltern Railways, Cross Country, Great Western Railway, Virgin Trains and the West Midlands rail network are all affected – National Rail says travellers should check with train operators before heading out
  • Dozens of flights have been cancelled from Heathrow after crews and aircraft were left out of position by Sunday’s problems. Passengers are advised to check before setting off for the airport
  • Travel expert Simon Calder estimates that 50,000 British Airways (BA) passengers were stranded at airports in the UK and around the world on Sunday. The airline said additional staff were rebooking customers on to the next available flights and offering hotel accommodation
  • The issues at Heathrow have led to dozens of knock-on flight cancellations in Scotland, Cardiff and Belfast
  • The Port of Calais has reopened after closing for a few hours on Monday afternoon. P&O Ferries is reporting delays on some sailings of up to two hours. The knock-on effects of Sunday’s grounding of a ship in Calais are compounding the problems
  • Eurotunnel says services are now back to normal after some passengers suffered long delays overnight – the firm says conditions remain “very challenging”
  • Motoring bodies the AA and RAC are warning drivers to adjust to the conditions “by slowing down and keeping a good distance”

Have you experienced any disruption? Please share your experiences with us by emailing [email protected].

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Media captionIpswich snowy scenes captured by drone footage

Meanwhile, thousands of homes are still without power.

Western Power Distribution said 99,500 customers were cut off on Sunday across the East Midlands, South Wales and the South West.

By Monday afternoon, about 9,000 homes were still without power, including more than 6,700 in the West Midlands.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks also said they had brought power back to 55,000 homes, but 750 remained cut off in Oxfordshire.

Image caption Wootton by Woodstock Primary is one of at least 183 schools in Oxfordshire which are closed

Image copyrightPA
Image caption Snow on the coast at Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear on Monday morning

Image copyrightReuters
Image caption Snow covered woodland in Newcastle-under-Lyme

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