More snow forecast amid big freeze
Published 18/01/2013 | 06:42
The big freeze across the UK is here to stay, with more snow expected next week. With travel chaos across the country and Britain's busiest airport being likened to a "refugee camp" amid more than 110 cancelled flights, forecasters predicted further misery in the coming days.
And on Saturday four people were killed and a woman seriously injured after a party of six climbers were hit by an avalanche at Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. Emergency services were alerted to the accident on Bidean Nam Bian, in Glencoe, this afternoon and a major search operation involving two mountain rescue teams and police dogs was launched.
Following Friday's deluge of snow, much of Saturday's snowfall was limited to the north east of England and the east of Scotland. But on Sunday a blanket of snow is expected to fall across more of the nation, hitting London and the South East of England first before moving north.
Laura Caldwell, of MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "There will be a few snow showers but heavier snow moving into the south of England and spreading into the Midlands, north east Wales, East Anglia and central England. There will be a quite significant accumulation and it will be seen first in London and the South East before moving north later in the day."
Freezing temperatures which have chilled the UK for the past week will also combine, with more snow in northern England as next week begins, Ms Caldwell added. "It is not going to be getting warmer any time soon," she said.
On Saturday, London's Heathrow airport saw angry scenes as travellers slept on the floor for a second day after flights continued to be hit by the weather. Simon Calder, travel editor of the Independent, painted a bleak picture, saying the scene was like "a refugee camp". BA and the airport insisted they were doing everything they could in difficult circumstances.
Travellers at regional airports including Leeds Bradford, Humberside and Newcastle were also frustrated by delays and disruption caused by the wintry weather. Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester airports were running normally but advised passengers to check with their airlines.
Train passengers did not fare much better, with reduced services across the country. Virgin Trains cancelled a number of services from the capital to Birmingham and Manchester, and others were delayed.
The freezing temperatures also prompted motoring organisations to issue warnings. Darron Burness, the AA's head of special operations, said: "With the snow compacting down and turning icy, we're likely to see treacherous driving conditions throughout the weekend. Any fresh snow on top will just add to the problems."
The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for ice over much of the country - and a red, severe warning for South Wales which experienced the worst of the weather.