Warning to brace for blizzards as snow triggers travel delays across UK

ITV News correspondents across the north of England report on the widespread disruption caused by the snow

Blizzards are due to cause "treacherous conditions" in the UK into Friday morning, with 50mph winds and up to 40cm of snow forecast in some areas.

The Met Office has issued three amber warnings for northern England, the Midlands, North Wales and Northern Ireland, where "significant disruption" to transport and power supplies is expected.

Three yellow warnings for snow also cover much of the rest of the nation, with the exception of southern England and western Scotland.

The Met Office has said an Arctic air mass from the north meeting mild air from the south is causing the turbulent weather over central areas.

A snow covered Preston Tower in Northumberland with snow covering the surrounding area. Credit: PA


The amber "snow" alert for England lasts for 21 hours from 3pm on Thursday and covers areas of Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford and Leeds.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said that while Devon and Cornwall should be free from the snow, the region is predicted to be hit by the strongest winds of around 60mph on Thursday evening.

People in the south of England are likely to experience the worst of the rain.

Many schools in Bradford, Sheffield, Barnsley and Leeds announced full or partial closures amid the snowfall.

National Highways issued a "severe weather alert" for snow covering the North East, North West and Midlands regions until 8am on Friday, where motorists have been warned not to drive unless their journey is essential.

The RAC said there have been 50% more breakdowns than usual in the worst affected areas, with some drivers stuck in the snow in parts of South Yorkshire and Wales.

Mr Burkill said: "The combination of heavy snow and gales is why we’re likely to see blizzards and drifting snow which causes extra hazards on the roads.

"In places covered by amber warnings, there will be very difficult, treacherous conditions.

Watch this video from Steven Singh-Keating in Shropshire early this morning:

"Ideally avoid travelling in those periods - but if you have to head out then be aware that journeys could take significantly longer."

The comments came after the Environment Agency issued five alerts for locations on the south coast of England, and for residents between Putney Bridge and Teddington Weir along the River Thames in London, where flooding is "possible".

East Midlands Airport, in Castle Donington, Leicestershire, temporarily closed its runway due to the weather.

Sheep graze in a snow covered field near Oundle, Northamptonshire. Credit: PA

The airport is under a yellow weather warning for snow in Leicestershire in place until 2pm on Friday.

The airport’s website said that four flights have been held at the gate, with others scheduled to depart later on Thursday, having been delayed.

Several councils have had to suspend some of their services due to the snow. This includes Coventry Council which has suspended its bin collections, and Staffordshire County Council, which had its gritters out on Wednesday night in preparation for Thursday.


An amber snow and ice warning is in place from noon until 9am on Friday, stretching from the north coast to Radnorshire.

On Thursday, officials said around 350 schools were closed due to the poor weather.

Heavy snow caused disruption on several roads making them impassable, including the A5 in Llangollen and the A4086 in Caernarfon.

Meanwhile, Transport for Wales reported train services were suspended between Shrewsbury and Llanelli on the Heart of Wales line. Some lines between Swansea and Shrewsbury were also closed.

Snow covered houses in Newtown, mid Wales. Credit: Frank Moore


On Wednesday night, Scotland recorded its coldest March night in 13 years.

The temperature dropped to -16C at Altnaharra in the Highlands, making it the coldest night of 2023 so far, the Met Office said.

It also marks the lowest minimum temperature recorded in the UK in the month of March since 2010, when Braemar in Aberdeenshire dropped to -18.6C.

Mr Burkill said that areas of the Highlands could see -17C on Friday night.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning of snow for central Scotland, Tayside, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, the Lothians, Grampian and the Scottish Borders which is valid until 10am on Friday.

A father and son walking in the Dublin mountains following heavy snow fall. Credit: PA

Northern Ireland

An amber snow and ice warning in Northern Ireland covers Belfast and areas south of the city from 3pm on Thursday until 4am on Friday.

Temperatures on Thursday night are expected to fall as low as -4C and the Met Office has said snow is expected to continue throughout the evening.

In the south, Met Eireann upgraded its snow and ice warning to a Status-Orange level until midnight for counties Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan, Longford, Louth, Meath and Westmeath and every county in Connacht.

Accumulations of snow and icy conditions are expected to continue in some areas of the Republic of Ireland, as a Status Yellow snow and ice warning stretches up to noon on Friday.

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