U.K. to Face 6 Inches of Snow, Travel Disruption in London

U.K. Faces 6 Inches of Snow, Travel Disruption, Forecasters Say
Trains travel in and out of Victoria station in front of Battersea Power Station in London on Jan. 21, 2013. Photographer: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Rain may turn to snow over the weekend in the U.K. as temperatures drop below freezing, creating disruption to travelers throughout the country.

As much as 15 centimeters (6 inches) of snow will fall in southern England and Wales on Feb. 10 and 11, The Weather Channel said today on its website. The low in London will rise to 3.1 degrees Celsius (38 Fahrenheit) on Feb. 11 from minus 2 Celsius today, CustomWeather Inc. data on Bloomberg show.

“There is a risk that a band of rain spreading from the southwest during Sunday will turn to sleet and snow,” the U.K.’s Met Office said today on its website. “The public should be aware of possible disruption to travel.”

A severe weather warning is in place for most of the U.K. on Feb. 10 and England and Wales on Feb. 11, according to the Met Office, which predicts a maximum 10 centimeters of snow.

The weather is being caused by low pressure and “more active fronts” pushing in from the West, with a cold southeasterly “undercut” turning rain to sleet and wet snow on Sunday morning, according to the Weather Channel.

European airports from London’s Heathrow to Frankfurt canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend of Jan. 19-20 as snow and freezing rain swept across the continent.

Heathrow, the busiest aviation hub in Europe, canceled at least 10 percent of flights on Jan. 21 after grounding 260 a day earlier. Frankfurt Airport, owned by Fraport AG, scrapped 203 flights and its counterpart in Munich canceled more than 100.

“Even at this short timescale there is currently a lot of uncertainty about the extent of the rain, sleet and snow later this weekend,” Met Office Chief Forecaster Eddy Carroll said on the agency’s website.

There have been 35 cancellations at Heathrow today, mainly outbound to the U.S., according to Jan Singleton, a spokeswoman for the airport.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Brown in London at mbrown42@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net