Snow covered highway near Okehampton, Devon, UK, 19 March 2018 (Keene/PA)
A blast of cold Siberian air – dubbed “Beast from the East 2.0” – has invaded the United Kingdom bringing heavy snow and icy conditions for the second time this month.
More than 10 cm snow fell in southwest England where a 100 km stretch of the A30 Highway was shut down forcing travellers to seek emergency shelter at a school in Okehampton.
Devon and Cornwall Police warned drivers to stay off the highways until snowplows cleared them and hundreds of schools were closed today.
Forecasters are watching for another wintry cold snap which could affect the UK during Easter weekend.
Vehicle stranded in snow on Highway A1, Peterborough, UK, 27 Feb 2018 (Giddens/PA)
The Siberian weather system dubbed “Beast from the East” bringing snow and strong winds is wreaking havoc in the United Kingdom and Ireland disrupting the transportation network.
Up to 50 cm of snow could fall in northern England and Scotland and temperatures could drop to as low as -15 C.
Schools have been closed and authorities have been busy responding to numerous highway crashes as drivers are being urged to stay off the roads.
The UK Met Office anticipates this will be the coldest week of the winter season.
Drivers deal with snow in Worcester, England, UK, 12 Dec 2017 (Sky News)
An Arctic chill lowered temperatures to -13 C in Shawbury near Manchester which was the lowest in the United Kingdom since -14 C in Braemar, Scotland in February 2016.
The cold comes after heavy snow fell with as much as 30 cm in parts of Wales knocking out power to tens of thousands.
Snow also fell in London where cancellations were reported at Heathrow Airport as plows cleared runways.
Snow and ice also delayed train schedules and created slick road conditions across the country.
Schools and businesses closed in Ireland when the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia brought destructive winds up to 160 km/h which downed trees and power lines creating widespread power outages.
Flights, ferries and even buses were cancelled and at least three deaths are attributed to the storm which officials say is the worst to hit Ireland in 50 years.
Strong winds also caused disruptions in Scotland and northern England where rail services were halted after fallen trees blocked lines.
Ophelia formed in the eastern Atlantic on 11 October and became a Category 3 hurricane three days later.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Ophelia was the furthest east ever recorded for an Atlantic hurricane.
Snow covers a vehicle in Aviemore, Scotland, UK, 25 April 2017 (BBC Weather)
Arctic air has enveloped the United Kingdom with heavy snow in Scotland and northern England and near freezing temperatures as far south as London.
Forecasters say snow in late April is not uncommon and actually fell over parts of the country around the same time last year.
Temperatures struggled to reach 10 C today after a hard frost early this morning.
This cold snap is a far cry from record breaking heat earlier this month when the thermometer climbed to 26 C in southern England and a mild March which was the fifth warmest ever for the U.K.
Image Courtesy CNN
The North Pole climbs above freezing, deadly tornadoes strike Texas, extreme heat bakes Australia and historic floods hit Britain and the American Midwest – the world is filled with extreme weather as it welcomes 2016.
A powerful and destructive North Atlantic low-pressure system brought eastern Canada an unusually warm holiday period, climbing to a spring-like 16°C in Montreal on Christmas Eve.
This was followed by heavy snow from Ontario to the Maritimes.
In the United States, tornadoes and floods left almost 50 dead.
The mighty Mississippi River has already exceeded overflow levels by four metres in some areas.
Scientists say the common cause of these events is a strong El Nino, a weather phenomenon which emerges every few years on average.
Record rainfall has brought unprecedented flooding to England and Scotland and Britain’s mean December temperature was a record-breaking 8°C, smashing the previous high of 6.9°C set in 1934.
With El Nino showing little sign of running out of steam, many scientists say 2016 could be even warmer than 2015.
Waves crash the seawall at Dawlish in Devon, England, 28 October 2013 (Reuters)
Hurricane strength winds battered Britain, northern France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia on Monday, cutting power and hampering air and rail travel.
Gusts of up to 160 km/h lashed southern England and Wales – the worst in a decade according to forecasters.
Thousands of London commuters were stuck at home after train and Tube lines were forced shut by toppled trees and power failures.
Reports say more than a dozen people have been killed so far in the powerful autumn storm.
Snowy in Cargan, Northern Ireland, UK, 25 March 2013 (Reuters)
Heavy snow – as much as 30 cm or more – has blanketed parts of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and northern England paralyzing travel.
A military helicopter was brought in to aid farms and families who were stranded in the unusual spring snowfall.
Many homes are still without power for a fifth straight day.
London has so far escaped the heavy snow but temperatures remain below freezing.
Snow being shoveled in Brighton, England, UK, 12 March 2013 (Reuters)
Snow and freezing conditions disrupted various forms of travel across Western Europe today.
Eurostar train service between London and Paris was halted and plows couldn’t keep up with the snow at Frankfurt Airport where hundreds of flights were cancelled.
Forecasters say the snow was the result of cold air from Russia colliding with a low pressure system over northern France.
Motorists were also stuck in their cars in southern England where as much as 15 cm of snow fell.
Snow in central London, 18 Jan 2013 (BBC)
Snow fell in southern England and Wales yesterday cancelling flights out of Heathrow and Gatwick airports, disrupting trains and causing delays for motorists.
According to the UK Met Office, temperatures are expected to be near or just below freezing throughout the weekend which means the snow will likely stick around for a while.
Higher elevations could see as much as 30 cm of snow while London was expecting about 10 cm.
Snow also fell in northern France with Paris also picking up as much as 10 cm.