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Friday, 18 January 2013

Heavy snow affects parts of the UK

Friday 18th January 2013

Hundreds of schools have been closed across England and Wales – including Abbeyfield. Whilst transport has been disrupted as a band of heavy snow affected large parts of the UK.

There is an amber warning for Northern Ireland and most of England, with snow also due in parts of Scotland. Parts of Wales have been issued with a rare Red warning by the Met Office.


CAUSES

I have annotated this pressure map from the Met Office to try and explain what has led to this significant snowfall on Friday 18th January:


BBC Weather website

VIDEO - Explanation from BBC Weather

VIDEO explanation from the Met Office:

VIDEO - Why so cold and snowy? Sudden stratospheric warming likely to be responsible for current icy weather


EFFECTS

Many major roads are being affected by snow, with parts of the M4 and M50 closed for a time. Along with the M50 in Herefordshire and the A35 in Dorset. There are hazardous conditions on the M5 with several lanes closed or impassable.

VIDEO – Communters struggle to get to work in Bristol:



10,000 households in parts of south Wales are being affected by power cuts. Thousands of homes in Gloucestershire also lost power.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at London's Heathrow Airport and its northern runway was closed for 45 minutes for snow to be cleared. Hundreds of people were forced to camp out in Heathrow overnight due to cancelled flights. Watch the video report here

Cardiff and Bristol airports were forced to close for a time. Plus British Airways cancelled many flights.  Whilst Eurostar cancelled four journeys between London and Brussels. 

Rail services have also been affected with some operators running altered timetables. South West Trains has published a revised timetable, while Southern Railways said it planned to operate a "less frequent service" between London and the south coast

During the day the AA have responded to 900 call outs

Frantic scenes were reported in many supermarkets across the South West and South Wales as people stampeded along the aisles, filling their trolleys with bread, milk, vegetables and other essentials, leaving stores "virtually empty".

Massive queues of traffic also built up as shoppers battled for space outside stores as parking spaces became a premium. Full story here

BBC Interactive snow map – with video reports and pictures from the worst affected areas

Click on the mosaic picture above to view the interactive image filled with pictures from across the country

For additional clips, pictures and information visit the ITV News snow page here

You can also watch the BBC News Special broadcast on 18th January 2013 for a limited period on BBC i-player here

Watch this video made by Aaron Booth in Year 10 about the snow in Wiltshire on Friday:


A selection of pictures from the day can be viewed here

View a snow map with pictures from across the UK to see the areas worst affected

The snow can be useful though
A teenage vandal who was reported as throwing objects at cars was arrested as police followed his footsteps in the snow. Read the story here


Sources: BBC News, BBC Weather, Met Office, Daily Telegraph, Channel 4 News, Daily Mail. Daily Mirror, ITV News


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