‘A real taste of winter’ hits UK

A snow plow on the outskirts of Braco, near Stirling, as blizzard conditions are set to bring "a real taste of winter to the whole of the UK". (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)


BLIZZARD conditions are causing travel chaos as stormy winter weather arrives in Britain.

Heavy snow was lying across Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of England by Thursday morning.

The Met Office had issued yellow “be aware” warnings of wind and snow for Scotland, warning of gusts of up to 60mph in places and 4in (10cm) to 8in (20cm) of snow on higher ground.

The weather has affected ferry services, with Caledonian MacBrayne warning “heavy disruptions” are expected.

Northlink ferries and Orkney Ferries also warned disruption was likely due to the weather.

The Met Office described the weather as a “real taste of winter” caused by a polar airmass, which originated over northern Canada, spreading south across the UK.

The Forth Road Bridge has now reopened after it was closed all of Wednesday after an overturned lorry damaged the central reservation.

Paul Gundersen, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said the heaviest and most frequent snow showers are likely across northern and western Scotland, Northern Ireland and around Irish Sea coasts, but eastern coasts will also be affected in the coming days.

“Most northern areas are very likely to see snow showers at times over the next few days but the situation over the southern half of England is more complicated,” Mr Gundersen said.

It follows a wet and windy day on Wednesday for Scotland and the north of England which left homes without power and major travel disruption.

Engineers worked to reconnect thousands of homes in Yorkshire, Cumbria, Cheshire and the north of Scotland and will be on stand-by throughout Thursday.

The storm has led to the cancellation of at least 80 flights at Heathrow Airport.

The Energy Networks Association has reminded people they can call 105 – the new, free national phone line – if the weather damages their local power network and affects their electricity supply.

Read more: In pictures: Snow comes to Scotland