The Met Office has issued three amber warnings for “strong winds bringing blizzard conditions” and up to 40cm of snow for an area stretching from Stoke-on-Trent to Durham, as well as north Wales and Northern Ireland.
Snowy conditions on Wednesday disrupted flights at airports including Gatwick and Manchester, and forced Bristol Airport to close, and more flights have been affected on Thursday.
Where have flights been cancelled on Thursday?
Many flights into and out of London Gatwick have been cancelled and delayed, with British Airways, easyJet and Vueling among the airlines affected.
Flights to Gatwick from several destinations in France, as well as Amsterdam, were cancelled on Thursday morning, and departures to a host of European and international destinations have been delayed.
You can find the latest flight information for Gatwick here.
Flights into and out of London Heathrow have also been cancelled or pushed back. A number of inbound British Airways flights – from destinations including Paris, Nice, Shanghai and Pittsburgh – have been cancelled. Departures to several French airports and Madrid have also been cancelled.
There have been further cancellations at Bristol Airport, while an Aer Lingus flight from Dublin was diverted to Birmingham.
Cancellations and delays have affected inbound flights from Paris, Edinburgh, Belfast, Glasgow, Malaga, Alicante and Athens, while departures to the likes of Porto and Amsterdam were delayed.
Bristol Airport said in a statement: “Bristol Airport is open and operational; some flights are experiencing delays due to the reactionary impacts of weather disruption from yesterday; low visibility and snow disruption being experienced across the UK; and French Air Traffic Control strikes today (Thursday 9 March). Customers are advised to contact their airline to check the latest flight information.”
East Midlands Airport closed its runway on Thursday morning due to snowfall. A spokesperson for the airport said: “Our runway remains closed as we continue to clear the airfield. Our ground handling teams are all operational and we have multiple de-icing vehicles in service.”
It reiterated that passengers should check with their airlines for the most up-to-date flight information.
The airport’s website says that four flights have been held at the gate, with others scheduled to depart later on Thursday having been delayed.
What is the latest weather forecast?
Here is the latest UK forecast from the Met Office:
Cold, cloudy, windy and unsettled for many today. Spells of rain will affect southern UK. Further north, spells of snow will affect parts of Wales, the Midlands, northern England, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland. Northern Scotland brighter with snow showers.
Further snow across parts of Wales, the Midlands, northern England, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland, heaviest snow northern England. Rain at times in the far south. Windy.
Early rain and snow across England and Wales clearing southwards, sunshine following with snow showers in the east. Sunny spells Scotland and Northern Ireland, but snow showers too. Cold.
Saturday to Monday
After a cold start to Saturday, turning milder but unsettled for most with rain and strong winds. Remaining colder in the far north, with some further snowfall.
The Met Office said: “Another area of low pressure arrives into the west through Saturday making uncertain progress east. This will be accompanied by a band of rain, which will turn occasionally to sleet and snow.
“The focus of snow is most likely to be mainly high ground across northern England initially, later pushing into Scotland.
“Further organised bands of snow showers are likely to continue to affect northern Scotland with some reasonable totals building up over the western Highlands and Grampians especially where these features combine. It is likely weather warnings will be issued once the detail of potential impacts becomes clearer.”
How long will it snow for?
The Met Office expects the current band of rain, sleet and snow to clear for most areas on Monday, other than northern Scotland.
However, those hoping this will signal a turn to warmer and drier weather will be disappointed.
As the week goes on widespread heavy rain is expected to move across much of the country from the south-west, with more snow possible in high ground areas of Northern Ireland and northern England.
Temperatures will be milder in the south, but colder in the north. For the rest of the period up to 22 March, low pressure and unsettled conditions will probably bring wetter conditions for most, particularly in the west.
Milder conditions are likely for many, whilst colder conditions are likely in the far north, with further snow and ice at times, the Met Office says. There will be strong winds and coastal gales mainly in western areas.
For the period from 23 March to 6 April, the Met Office says: “Confidence remains fairly low during this period, with a lot of uncertainty. However, in general it’s likely to be drier further north, apart from occasional wintry showers, while rain and strong winds are more likely to be more of a feature in the south, with a low risk of snow at times, mainly on the boundary between these two regimes.
“Milder conditions may extend north periodically. Temperatures overall mainly around average, with milder spells in the south and colder spells in the north.”