Manchester Airport was forced to close its runways amid snowstorms this morning as Britain braces itself for another day of travel chaos after temperatures plummeted last night to as low as -10.4C in parts of the country on the coldest day of the year so far.
Many are waking up to ice and snow this morning and face travel disruption as the UK continues to be hit by this week’s cold snap. The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the north-west and south-west of England.
Passengers were left stranded and planes had to be diverted after bad weather made it impossible for flights to take off from Manchester Airport as snowstorms batter parts of the UK before the runways finally reopened hours later.
At least 20 flights have been delayed and two have been cancelled, according to tracking website FlightRadar24, while a plane which had travelled 4,000 miles from Atlanta in the US was diverted to London after being unable to land in the snow.
HAVE YOU BEEN AFFECTED BY MANCHESTER AIRPORT CLOSING? DO YOU HAVE PICTURES? Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
MANCHESTER: The airport has been forced to close following heavy snowfall overnight as freezing temperatures continue
MANCHESTER: A plane covered in snow waits on the tarmac at Manchester Airport. It is not yet clear how long the closure will last
Pictures were shared of a snow-encrusted plane grounded on the tarmac at Manchester Airport as passengers waited for news.
A spokesperson for the airport said early this morning: ‘Following a period of heavy snowfall, we have temporarily closed both runways.
‘Health and safety will always be our top priority and operations will resume at the earliest opportunity.
‘Passengers are advised to contact their airline for the most up-to-date flight information.’
The runways reopened almost two and a half hours later as passengers waited in the terminal and on planes.
The airport said: ‘Following the temporary closure of our runways due to snow, we are pleased to report that operations have resumed. We thank passengers for their patience.’
More disruption is expected across the UK today as extreme temperatures cause chaos for road and rail as well as flights.
Drumnadrochit near Inverness in the Highlands hit -10.4C in the early hours of Thursday, making it the coldest recorded temperature of the year so far.
Elsewhere, Topcliffe in north Yorkshire got down to -7.4C, the coldest in England.
Forecasters have said the cold weather will last until the end of the week, and that temperatures could drop as low as -11C in places.
The worst affected area is the north of Scotland, with the Met Office warning that communities there could be cut off and left without power amid snowstorms.
The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for most of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the north-west and south-west of England.
Warnings suggest there may be ‘further wintry showers bringing disruption from ice and snow’.
They run until noon on Thursday in Wales and the north of Scotland while the ice warning lasts until 10am in England.
MANCHESTER: The city saw a huge dump of snow last night as temperatures plunged well below freezing
AVIEMORE: People walk across a frozen loch in Aviemore in Scotland yesterday, when temperatures reached as low as -7C
MANCHESTER: A passenger sits on the tarmac on their grounded plane as they wait for the runways to reopen
BRECON BEACONS: The Cray reservoir in the Brecon Beacons has been blanketed with snow
The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the north-west and south-west of England
LONDON: Most of the country experienced freezing cold temperatures last night and many woke up to another frosty morning today. Pictured: Blackheath Common in south London this morning
LONDON: A cyclist travels through Blackheath Common in south London this morning, where temperatures were around -1C
Some passengers took to social media to fume about the runway closure at Manchester Airport
All of these areas are likely to see travel disruption and delays to journeys as ice and snow block roads and train lines.
Yesterday saw major disruption for people all over the UK as roads were closed due to traffic collisions and railways saw widespread delays and cancellations.
Police have warned drivers to take care this week and, in places, only drive when necessary due to the unusually difficult conditions.
Earlier in the week, a bus carrying around 70 people was overturned after a collision in Somerset.
Emergency services later said a number of those injured in the crash would require surgery.
Meanwhile, a major incident was declared in Somerset over flooding concerns, adding to the disruption.
The Met Office has warned motorists to leave more time for their journeys amid the difficult conditions.
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.