Home news UK snow: Amber warning issued across large parts of country

UK snow: Amber warning issued across large parts of country

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More snow is hitting the UK with an amber weather warning issued across large parts of the country.

The deepest snowfall in the UK on Sunday has been in Sennybridge, near Brecon in Wales, where up to 30cm (12in) of snow has been recorded.

Warnings have also been extended for snow and high winds of 80mph (130km/h) are possible in southern England.

A ferry with 300 people on board ran aground in high winds at Calais, in northern France.

The P&O vessel, the Pride of Kent, ran aground while leaving the port for Dover. There were no injuries and the ship was refloated within two hours, although passengers are being transferred to another ship.

Electricity supplier SSE says up to 24,000 homes in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire are without power.

A spokesman for the utility firm said snow and wind had resulted in tree branches coming into contact with overhead network.

Delays to road, rail and air travel in the UK are expected for most of the day, with some airport runways blocked.

BBC Weather says Devon and Cornwall have been battered with gusts of more than 70mph, reaching 90mph in the English Channel.

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A gust of 74.9mph was recorded by Devon County Council Highways on Taw Bridge in Barnstaple, which has been closed to high sided vehicles.

The amber warning for snow has been extended to cover Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex but areas such as Liverpool and South Yorkshire have been downgraded to a yellow “be aware” warning.

Temperatures are also likely to reach lows of -10C (14F) in some parts of Scotland and Wales, falling to as low as -14C (6.8F) in isolated rural areas.

The Met Office says ice is likely to be the “main hazard” over the next 24 hours as it issued a further yellow “be aware” warning for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It said more snow could fall over Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire and warned of icy surfaces.

Highways England has asked drivers to prepare for “any eventuality”, making sure to have warm clothing, food, drink, required medications, boots, a shovel and a torch if venturing out.

Traffic Scotland also advised drivers to increase their stopping distances in the icy conditions and take a de-icer and scraper with them.

In the Midlands, many motorways are covered in snow, with local police forces asking people to travel only if absolutely necessary.

In north Wales and the West Midlands, some hospitals have drafted in 4×4 drivers to get staff to and from work.

The British Red Cross has also been asked to help move blood supplies and other medical equipment in some areas.

Heavy snow and rain is causing disruption across the UK, with many drivers being affected.

  • The A470 at Storey Arms in Powys, Wales, is shut
  • Heavy goods vehicles are advised not to use the A417 in Gloucestershire after a number of collisions between the A429 and A436 but the carriageway has reopened
  • On the M1 northbound, the road has reopened between junctions 16 and 17 after “numerous breakdowns/collisions”
  • Outside Warwick, the M40 was closed after a crash between junction 15 and 16 involving multiple vehicles but has since reopened
  • And between the Welsh border and the A5 near Shrewsbury, the A458 in Shropshire, police have reopened the road after an earlier crash

National Rail has warned of travel disruption on services in Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia, London, the Chiltern Railways network and South Western Railway trains.

It advised passengers to check before travelling as there could be delays and cancellations.

All lines through Birmingham New Street will be disrupted until the end of the day.

There were delays to some flights at Manchester Airport on Saturday and it still advises passengers to check with their airline before travelling.

Passengers travelling to and from Belfast International, Belfast City and the City of Derry Airport in Northern Ireland have been advised to leave additional time for journeys.

Birmingham Airport has temporarily suspended flights so staff can clear snow from the runway and advises passengers to check its website for updates.

Heathrow Airport says both runways are currently in use but staff are prepared if either needs de-icing later.

Earlier, Luton Airport had to shut its runway and temporarily suspend flights and the runway at Stansted Airport has been cleared.

Across the South West of England and Wales, more than 2,500 customers have been affected by power cuts due to snow or high winds.

On Saturday, Western Power Distribution said only a small proportion of their network was down due to the weather conditions.

Local events have also been affected by the weather, such as the final day of Lincoln Christmas market, which has been cancelled over safety concerns.

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Source: BBC Here