Northern England grinds to a halt over snow
Heavy snow has blanketed parts of northern England with a flurry of travel delays this morning.
People up and down the country have woken up to a return of wintery weather, after temperatures dropped as low as -7.1C yesterday.
Crashes on major roads and ungritted local roads have led to a build-up of traffic in some areas.
Vehicles on the M55 eastbound, between junction 4 and junction 3, has been stopped due to two collisions.
Traffic has been stopped by Lancashire Police since around 8.05am.
‘Delays are building’, National Highways North-West warned on Twiter.
Meanwhile, the runways at Manchester Airport have been closed due to heavy snow.
The airport said ‘operations will resume at the earliest opportunity’ and urged passengers to ‘contact their airline for the most up-to-date flight information’.
Schools closed in England today
- Park Lane Special School, Macclesfield, Cheshire
- Buglawton Primary School, Congleton, Cheshire
- Congleton High School, Congleton, Cheshire
- Woodcocks’ Well CE VA Primary School, Mow Cop, Cheshire
- The Levels School, Bristol
- Biddulph High School, Biddulph, Staffordshire
- Woodhouse Academy, Biddulph, Staffordshire
- Sandford Hill Pre School, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
- St Saviour’s CofE Academy, Talke, Staffordshire
- Blackfriars Academy, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire
- Moorside High School, Werrington, Staffordshire
- Westwood College, Leek, Staffordshire
- Churnet View Middle School, Leek, Staffordshire
- Werrington Primary School, Werrington, Staffordshire
- Ilam C of E VA Primary School, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
- Sacred Heart RC Primary, Leeds
Weather presenter Simon King told the BBC: ‘We’ve had some scattered snow showers this morning giving a covering of snow in places.
‘In particular a heavier snow shower passed over southern areas of Greater Manchester giving a good covering at Manchester Airport.
‘The snow has already moved away but there still could be a few more wintry showers across Greater Manchester throughout the morning.’
Snows across the country are closed as a result of the snowfall, with Scotland and Wales also hit by the wild weather.
Temperatures plunged below -10C (14F) in parts of the UK overnight amid warnings of snow, ice and travel disruption.
Drumnadrochit near Inverness in the Highlands hit -10.4C (13.28F) in the early hours of Thursday, making it the coldest recorded temperature of the year so far.
Topcliffe in north Yorkshire was the coldest registered in England, dropping down to -7.4C (18.68F).
A series of yellow weather warnings for snow and ice from the Met Office came in as a major incident was declared in Somerset due to the risk of flooding.
The warnings covering northern and south-west Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales suggest there may be ‘further wintry showers bringing disruption from ice and snow’ while an ice warning is also in place for the south west of England.
They run until noon on Thursday in Wales and the north of Scotland while the ice warning lasts until 10am in England.
Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: ‘Parts of north-west Scotland still have 34cm of snow lying, elsewhere this is around 9cm, and in sites across Northern Ireland we’ve got 7cm, and in Wales as well.
‘The main thing elsewhere is frost and ice, showers are focused towards the north and west of the UK, so elsewhere a frosty and icy, but dry start.
‘Lighter winds in the south on Thursday, so it’s not going to feel quite as raw, even though temperatures are still cold, there will be less of a wind chill effect.
‘Gradually it will turn less cold over the next few days, we hold onto it generally today and tomorrow, but into the weekend Atlantic air starts to come in, bringing temperatures up to double figures.’
A level three cold weather alert issued by the UK Health Security Agency, warning of conditions that ‘could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services’ is in place until 9am on Friday.
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