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UK weather: Travellers to face fresh disruption as ‘mini Beast from the East’ grips Britain

Britain is braced for further transport disruption on Sunday as the wintry snap dubbed the “mini beast from the east” brings  bitterly cold temperatures that will feel as low as minus 10C.

The Met Office has weather warnings in place for more snow and ice, with some areas likely to see up to 25cm of snow on Sunday.

About 120 flights to and from Heathrow and Gatwick Airport were cancelled on Friday night and Saturday and flight passengers are advised to check with their airline for the latest flight information on Sunday.

Drivers have been warned to take care as ice and snow have made road conditions treacherous.

Three snowploughs have been dispatched to the M62 after bad weather brought traffic to a standstill.

Greater Manchester Police’s traffic unit said conditions were “bleak” on the trans-Pennine route, with a video showing blizzard-like conditions.

Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said: “It’s going to be a very, very cold start, with a widespread frost and ice around as well.

“And we have plenty of snow showers to start the day. These will be heaviest and most frequent across southwestern areas, so we’re talking parts of Wales and the south west of England in particular.

“Across some southwestern parts the snow will continue throughout the day. We’re looking at some fairly large snowfall totals.”

Mr Wilson said people could see 10-15cm of snow, and up to 25cm over higher ground.

He said snow showers in other parts of the country are expected to ease throughout the day, with some spells of sunshine possible.

“It will stay windy, and it will stay very cold indeed. Temperatures barely above freezing, and in the wind it will feel like it’s well below freezing,” he said.

A woman runs for cover on Whitley Bay sea front, on the north east coast of England

Credit:
PA

Mr Wilson said it will feel as low as minus 8C or minus 10C in places, particularly across southern areas.

Air travel

Heathrow Airport said “extreme wintry weather” is expected, adding: “In preparation, we’ve worked with our airlines to consolidate Sunday’s flight schedule, moving passengers on to fewer flights.

“This decision enables us to provide more certainty to passengers around departing flights, whilst ensuring safety and service standards despite the challenging conditions.

“Our teams will be working throughout the night to keep our runways and taxiways operational and we will be closely monitoring the weather forecasts with our on-site Met Office.

A Ryanair plane prepares for take off in the snow at Leeds Bradford airport this morning as the second Beast from the East begins to batter Britain

Credit:
London News Pictures Ltd

“As always, we advise passengers to take care when travelling to the airport and ensure they check their flight status with their airline before coming to Heathrow.”

Gatwick Airport tweeted on Saturday night:

Stansted Airport and Luton Airport also advised passengers to check with their airlines.

Road safety

Snow and winds are expected to ease by Monday, though overnight frost and some ice will remain on the roads.

Conditions on the M62 at Saddleworth Moor, on the border with West Yorkshire, were described as “a little bit wild” by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on Twitter.

GMP Traffic posted a photo of snow-covered roads at junction 22 of the M62, which has the highest stretch of motorway in the UK.

The M25 was gridlocked on Saturday between junctions 17 and 18 anti-clockwise after an air ambulance attended a crash, while a collision also closed the westbound junction of the M4 in Wiltshire between junctions 14 and 15.

Richard Leonard, Highways England head of road safety, warned motorists to be careful in the icy conditions.

He said: “Gritters will be out treating our roads around the clock, but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast.

“Keep your distance and reduce your speed, because even in conditions that seem normal, and where the snow is not settling, it can be slippery if ice patches have formed, or where fresh grit has not been worked into the carriageway.

“Drivers should plan their journeys, monitor weather reports and pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel.”

Drivers have also been urged to be prepared before setting out on journeys this weekend, with Highways England advising motorists to avoid trans-Pennine roads “if possible”.

Weather map for the coming days 

Meteorologist Martin Bowles said the weekend’s weather is not Beast from the East Mark Two, but could be called a “mini Beast from the East” as it will be less severe.

He added: “We don’t expect anything like the same impact as a result of it, although there will be some snow about.”

Sunday will be a similar story, with snow and ice expected across the UK.

Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/18/uk-weather-travellers-face-fresh-disruption-mini-beast-east/

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