UK weather: Drivers face overnight stay on gridlocked motorway while passengers trapped on icy plane as snow misery continues

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Drivers are facing a freezing overnight stay on a gridlocked motorway after snow caused miles of tailbacks.

By midnight on Wednesday, some drivers had been stuck on the M80 in Scotland since 2pm after it was heavily hit by snow.

Stevie Buist was forced to abandon his car.

The father-of-two told STV: “We got on the motorway at 2pm and at about 5.30pm I decided to leave the car as I was low on diesel and mobile phone battery.

Drivers face an overnight stay on the gridlocked M80 motorway

The tailbacks stretched for miles

“I had two young kids in the car so I thought I would take my chances while it was light outside.

“Your immediate thoughts were the safety of my children. I knew I couldn’t run the engine overnight. Temperatures were dropping and it was already -3C so i couldn’t make them sleep in the car.”

Other passengers stranded on the motorway reported that locals were handing out water and snacks while they waited to get going again.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf urged motorists not to abandon their cars earlier today.

Some motorists had been on the road since 2pm on Wednesday

Driving conditions are hazardous

Several roads across the UK are closed this morning as heavy snowfall continues to cause disruption for travellers.

Police in Lincolnshire warned the A52 had become “impassable” between Boston and Skegness due to drifting snow, with even a snowplough unable to get through.

The A66 in the North East was shut between Scotch Corner and Brough, while the A628 was closed in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire between Flouch and Tintwistle due to snow and stranded vehicles.

Highways England said the A56 in Lancashire would be shut between the M65 and A680 for “several hours” to recover a crashed lorry and clear the snow.

In Scotland, drivers reported being stranded on the M80 for several hours overnight, and the motorway was closed southbound between junctions 8 and 9.

Meanwhile, at London’s Heathrow airport, an Aer Lingus jet was trapped on the tarmac for hours after the aircraft froze.

One passenger on board the Airbus 320, bound for Belfast City airport, tweeted: “Passengers on board for nearly 3 hours at LHR. Please send a de-icer to the aircraft parked at T2 so we can get home!”

In South Dublin, residents were left heartbroken and angry at the discovery of a ‘defenceless’ little dog lying dead in the snow.

It is not known how the pup ended up outside on his own or how he died but he could not survive the freezing temperatures in the capital this evening.

The poor dog was found by heartbroken Tallaght resident Tammy Cosgrove who was left devastated by the sad discovery.

Speaking to Dublin Live she said: “I’m just saddened and disgusted after finding a little defenceless animal lying there.”

Heavy snow showers and gale force winds will continue to affect large parts of the UK today as Storm Emma hits.

Forecasters have warned the storm will be “significantly disruptive”, bringing the risk of power cuts, huge transport delays, up to 40cm of snow and temperatures as low as -12.

The Met Office continues to have weather warnings in place for much of the country after the battering from the ‘Beast from the East’ – and more blizzards are on the way.

Snow is expected in northern and eastern areas overnight and will drift across Scotland in the strong winds.

Frost and extreme winterly conditions will spread across southern England by the morning.

Below is when a list of when snow is predicted to hit your area.

A car struggles in the snow in Swarland, Northumberland

North East:

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Widespread snow is still forecast throughout Wednesday and into Thursday morning.

Showers are expected to stop briefly around midday before starting again in the early evening.

Some places are likely to have an additional 15-25cm of snow, locally as much as 40cm.

An amber warning is in place until 6pm on Thursday and temperatures hover around -6.

North West:

Hundreds of schools are closed

Locally heavy snow showers will fall overnight on Wednesday, with occasional clear spells in between.

It will be a bitterly cold night with strong winds leading to a penetrating frost and minimum temperatures overnight -10 °C.

Snow showers will continue in the early hours of Thursday, although these will steadily ease through the day and skies will remain cloudy.

Strong winds will male it feel bitterly cold and temperature are unlikely to rise above freezing.

Midands:

Cars have been covered by snow, making it hazardous on the roads

Heavy snow falls on the tarmac of the Glasgow Airport in Glasgow

Parts of Wales and western England could have 10-15cm of snow on the ground by the end of Friday.

Freezing temperatures will make travel conditions treacherous and an amber warning covers parts of the east Midlands.

The Met Office said: “A band of heavy snow showers will continue across the area well into this afternoon, with a further 5-10 cm of snow accumulating in a number of places, and locally 15 cm where snow showers are most frequent.

“Strong winds will lead to drifting of lying snow, along with severe wind chill, whilst lightning will be an additional hazard, particularly near coasts. The snow showers should ease later in the afternoon.”

South West:

The Heads of the valleys road near Ebbw Vale, South Wales where temperatures fell to -10 overnight

The south west will be one of the first areas hit by Storm Emma with gale-force winds and heavy snow causing treacherous conditions tomorrow.

The cold air will see a windchill of -7C in some places.

Thursday is likely to be the worst day for the south, especially the south west. An amber warning is in place from midday Thursday until 8am on Friday.

Forecast for Thursday

The Met Office say: “A spell of heavy snow is expected to move north across Southwest England and Wales through Thursday afternoon and evening.

“Some places could also see significant ice build up overnight into Friday. The snow is likely to be accompanied by strong easterly winds.

“Long delays and cancellations to public transport is expected, whilst some roads may become blocked by deep snow, stranding vehicles and passengers. Long interruptions to power supplies and other utilities are likely to occur.

South East and London:

Wembley Stadium this morning

Temperatures are unlikely to rise above -1 in London tomorrow with rural areas seeing the mercury plummet to around -4.

Skies are predicted to be clear in the early hours of the morning.

But sleet and snow showers are likely to hit in the late morning and continue until around 4pm.

It will feel very cold with strong and chilly easterly winds, according to the Met Office.

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Scotland:

A car travels through a snow blizzard near Larbert, Falkirk

Scotland will be one of the worst hit by the extreme weather.

People in central Scotland have been advised to stay indoors from until 10am tomorrow morning when snow showers might start to ease.

Up to 40cm of snow could fall by mid-morning on Thursday with snowdrifts being considerably higher.

The Met Office said: “Heavy snow showers and drifting of lying snow in the strong easterly winds will become more widespread across the area later on Wednesday afternoon, through the evening and overnight into Thursday.

More blizzards are expected

Police Scotland warning

Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, Head of Road Policing said: “The Met Office has now increased the weather warning to Red, the first time this has occurred for snow storms.

“We can’t stress enough that all travel should be avoided unless it’s essential being absolutely necessary and extremely important.

“Police Scotland’s national Multi Agency Command Centre, is co-ordinating our emergency response across all Local Policing Divisions in Scotland and will continue to do throughout the next 48 hours.”

“Roads will become blocked by deep snow, with many stranded vehicles and passengers. Long delays and cancellations on bus, rail and air travel are expected.

“Some communities could become cut off for several days. Long interruptions to power supplies and other services.”

It is highly likely hundreds, if not thousands, of schools will remain closed on Thursday.

2018-03-01 04:33:03

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