Widespread Disruption of Travel Across Europe
Snowstorms have swept across parts of UK, causing travel woes for motorists, widespread power outages, and disruption of flights.
Treacherous road conditions, including thick ice made it difficult for motorists to pass roads and extended travel times. As well as the roads, rail services were affected. Trains were cancelled across the country particularly in the worst affected areas, such as Chiltern Railways, the Cross Country network, Great Western Railway, Virgin Trains and the West Midlands rail network.
Due to the awful weather conditions, Highways England issued advice for drivers travelling through the north west and north east of England and the Midlands to check the forecast and road conditions before they travel. The advice also reminded motorists to be ready at all times for “any eventuality” by carrying “warm clothing, food, drink, required medication, boots, shovel and a torch.”
Persistent heavy snowfall has hit the Midlands, the home counties and Wales throughout Monday morning. Weather forecasts say temperatures could dip to -10C overnight in places.
Although these conditions were called “the worst weather” by many commentators, those old enough to remember 1963, call this weather “mild.” NewsBlaze editor-in-chief Alan Gray was born in the UK and he has a long memory. He says the 1-metre deep snow this week does not compare to the winter of 1963, when snow was up to 6 metres deep (20 feet). Also that year, many rivers were frozen as were some areas of the sea.
Power Outages and More
Heavy snow and high winds caused widespread power outages. Around 140,000 homes lost power on Sunday and several thousand remain cut off. The entire town of Bicester in Oxfordshire lost power overnight as heavy snow brought down electricity cables.
School classes were suspended across England and Wales as the wintry conditions persisted. More than 400 schools are closed in Wales and in Birmingham.
There were disruptions of flights at Birmingham and Luton airports while runways were cleared, leaving passengers facing lengthy delays and stranded at airports here and around the world.
To avoid hassles, passengers are being advised to check their flight’s status before they set off for the airport.
Met Office Issues Yellow Weather Warning
As temperatures continue to fall, the Met Office issued yellow weather warnings of ice for Wales, the Midlands and the South East. It has extended its yellow weather warnings for snow and ice to cover vast swaths of the country for the following days, including London and the south-east, much of the Midlands, Northern Ireland and Wales, as well as the eastern coast of England and northern and western Scotland.
Yellow weather warning means “be aware” for severe weather is possible over the next few days and could affect everyone. Travellers are advised to plan ahead and think about possible travel delays, or the disruption of your day to day activities. Also, it is advisable to keep an eye on the latest forecast and be aware that the weather may change or worsen, leading to disruption of your plans in the next few days.