U.K. Met Office Warns of Freezing Weather Causing Disruption

The U.K.’s Met Office issued a weather warning today, saying while any snowfall will be light, freezing temperatures and gale force winds will make travelling hazardous across much of Britain.

“Snow lying in many areas will melt by day to refreeze overnight leading to icy patches developing,” the national weather forecaster said on its website. “In addition drifting of this lying snow in strong to gale force winds will affect some roads.”

The Met Office forecast snow across the north-east of the country, with about 5 centimetres (2 inches) falling in hilly areas. The U.K. has been hit by snowfall of as much as 30 centimetres since March 22 and freezing conditions as cold air from the east met with a band of rain from the west, the Met Office said.

Airports across the country reported flight delays and many schools have had to shut because of heavy snow. Thousands of homes in Scotland are without power as heavy snow and ice bought down power lines over the weekend.

U.K. newspapers reported that the unseasonable weather conditions are expected to last into the Easter long weekend. “Freeze hell gets worse,” said the Daily Mirror. “Heard the one about the heatwave?” opined The Daily Telegraph. “Met Office says it’s on the way.”

While no further heavy snowfall is forecast for this week, temperatures will remain below average, a spokeswoman for the Met Office said today in a phone interview.

London’s Heathrow airport, Europe’s busiest, was experiencing delays because of high winds, according to Eurocontrol, the region’s air traffic oversight agency.

The Highways Agency, responsible for monitoring traffic conditions across England, reported the closure of the Trans-Penine A66 Scotch Corner -- Brough and A628 Woodhead Pass because of severe weather conditions.

About 2,000 homes in Northern Ireland are still without power today, the region’s electricity service said on its website.

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