30 Jan 2015

Ice warning after ‘thundersnow’ storms pelt Britain

Ice poses the major threat today, although remnants of the snow storms could clip the south east of England, the Met Office says.

“Thundersnow” storms battered large parts of northern Britain on Thursday, with up to 9in (23cm) of snow falling in some parts.

Forecasters said that ice posed the major threat today, although some sleet and snow storms could strike.

A total of 36 flights were cancelled at Manchester Airport, while the coldest UK temperature was recorded at Tulloch Bridge in Inverness-shire, where readings fell to minus 11 Celsius (12F).

Helen Roberts, a forecaster at the Met Office, said: “Ice is going to be the main hazard tonight and we could see more snow.

“We could see some more sleet and snow coming in from the north west – the remnants of it could clip the south east and as far south as London.

“The chances are that by the time it reaches the south it will be less intense, but there could be a light dusting of snow over those areas.

“I will imagine there will be more transport problems with the ice potentially being more of a hazard than snow.

The Highways Agency warned of icy roads as temperatures plummet and said its gritters will be out in force.

It comes after “thundersnow” storms lashed Britain yesterday, forcing 300 schools to close, while roads ground to a halt and flights were cancelled.

Holidaymakers were left stranded as Manchester Airport closed both of its runways for several hours, while flights were suspended at East Midlands Airport.

David Cameron announced on Twitter that he has asked for updates on the weather and measures taken to keep transport systems and energy supplies running.

A fierce Arctic blast will sweep the country on Saturday and Sunday, bringing snow across the north, and down the south west and east coasts of England and East Anglia.