Snow affecting many Ireland-to-UK flights
on 18/01/2013 10:24:43
Dozens of flights have been cancelled in the UK following heavy snowfalls.
Up to 30 centimetres of snow has fallen in parts of the England and Wales.
Heathrow and Bristol airports are the worst affected.
The adverse weather has already sparked panic-buying in the UK and left more than 10,000 people without electricity.
Weathermen predict around 12in (30cm) of snow will fall in some areas of the UK during the next few hours while gusts could reach galeforce of 40-45mph around Scottish isles.
Temperatures are expected to remain close to freezing throughout the day after dropping to -8 in the Highlands overnight.
The British Met Office has issued a "red" severe weather warning for heavy snow in Wales, which is set to experience the worst of the snow.
Amber alerts were in place for the Midlands, London and the South, the east of England, the South West, the North West and Northern Ireland.
The arctic blast closed Cardiff airport this morning and led Heathrow to shut one runway for de-icing and snow-clearing, prompting delays and cancellations. The airport has already pulled around 70 flights.
A statement on Gatwick's website warned passengers to check before leaving their homes.
Rail travellers also experienced upheaval as operators scrapped services.
Poor conditions also caused severe hold-ups on the roads.
The AA expected most disruption in Wales, the West Midlands, southern England and Northern Ireland.
Laura Caldwell, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said 4-6in (10-15cm) of snow would cover much of the UK before easing off this evening.
"There's going to be quite strong winds which will push the snow into drifts," she added.
"Over the next 24 hours it is possible that 30cm or slightly more will fall in Wales.
"Winds will be near galeforce in coastal areas and it could gust up to galeforce around the Scottish isles, which traditionally get the worst winds."
Forecasters have warned of blizzard conditions but said these would abate, with only light flurries expected tomorrow.