UK airports have been forced to close runways and delay flights due to the extreme weather and sleet, snow and freezing fog could disrupt travel for “at least a week.”
On Saturday Manchester airport had to temporarily close their runways as snowfall disrupted flights and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said the de-icing of planes had also created delays.
In a statement, Manchester airport said, “Due to heavy snow fall, we have temporarily closed both runways. Health and safety will always be our top priority and operations will resume at the earliest opportunity.”
On Friday evening Dublin Airport cancelled 69 flights and 74 inbound flights, and on Saturday 23 outbound and 27 inbound flights were cancelled.
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Darren Clark, severe weather resilience manager at National Highways, said gritters will be out and about to keep motorways and major A-roads open.
He said, “National Highways is committed to treating every road which needs to be treated – whenever it is needed.”
Sky News weather presenter Kirsty McCabe said there will be a mix of “”wintry hazards, including frost, ice, sleet, snow and freezing fog” due to an “Acrtic blast of cold weather” and warned to expect the weather to remain “for at least a week.”
She added that on Saturday there will be “stubborn fog patches” and parts of the UK will be “very cold with temperatures staying close to freezing in places.”
There's certainly a chill in the air for all four home nations once again this morning
-9.2 Celsius at Eskdalemuir makes last night provisionally the coldest night of 2022 so far 🌡️ pic.twitter.com/p0iz4DtSQp
— Met Office (@metoffice) December 10, 2022
There is also a “risk of ice with snowfall mainly over higher ground” in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the west of England.
On Saturday evening “snowfall will reach lower levels as the temperature drops,” and London and south east of England has a weather warning until 9am on Monday for snow and ice as there is a 30% chance there could be up to 5cm of snowfall.
Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said, “It is staying cold with daytime temperatures remaining only a few degrees above freezing in many places over the coming days and overnight temperatures dropping to -10C or lower in isolated spots.
“Although below average, these temperatures are not that unusual for this time of year.
“There is still a risk we could see some freezing fog in places particularly southern England, especially for Sunday and Monday mornings.
“There is also a small risk of a band of sleet or snow moving into the far South East on Sunday.
“If this happens it could potentially bring some disruption, especially to rush hour on Monday. A warning has been issued.”
Rod Dennis, spokesperson for the RAC, said, “The big freeze continues today and those heading out on the roads must be alert to the risk of ice, especially in the south and west of the UK which are covered by weather warnings.
“Leaving the car at home and going on foot to watch the match perhaps makes the most sense – and especially so if people are planning on drinking any alcohol while England play France.
“Yesterday was an exceptionally busy day for breakdowns, with the equivalent of around 400 drivers breaking down every hour – similar to what we’d expect on a Monday in December.”