Significant snowfall is set to hit London and the south-east this week, with minimum temperatures of -5°C and up to 5cm of snowfall expected over the next few days..
Widespread hard frost and “very significant snow” will likely cause disruption to motorists across the country over Thursday and Friday, with temperatures in parts of Scotland expected to break this winter’s record low of -10.8°C.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice across London and the south of England until Friday, even predicting the possibility of power cuts and outages in mobile phone coverage.
— Met Office (@metoffice) January 30, 2019
Forecasters warned journeys may take “a lot longer” that possible delays could leave vehicles and passengers stranded.
Meteorologist at the Met Office, Alex Burkill, told ITV: "Looking further ahead, it's what happens on Thursday that has the potential to be more disruptive.
"It does have the potential to bring some very significant snow. We have already got a warning out in force for it.
"It's currently just a yellow warning, but it's not out of the question that will be ramped up nearer the time."
Manchester and Liverpool airports have been forced to temporarily close, while more than 200 schools across Merseyside and Greater Manchester will be shut today amid heavy snowfall since the morning. Manchester Airport has reopened one of two runways since 10.30am.
— Stephen Jones (@cosmokramer1884) January 30, 2019
London airports remain operational, though London City Airport has drafted in extra de-icing vehicles with staff on standby "should snow clearance be required".
"The airport is working hard behind the scenes to ensure any snowfall results in minimal disruption to passengers," a spokesperson added.
Heathrow and Gatwick urged passengers to check with airlines on the status of their flights. “Standard winter operations” are reported by the five major London airports.
The Met Office warned that rail travel and air travel in the south could face cancellations or disruption from the cold snap.
In a statement today, Heathrow said: “To ensure our passengers and colleagues are travelling safely this winter, Heathrow is closely monitoring and preparing for cold weather conditions forecast for the UK. Those travelling via Heathrow are encouraged to contact their airline for up to date flight information.
“Heathrow’s runways and taxiways remain operational. Airlines are responsible for de-icing their aircraft.”
Earlier this week Transport for London said transport agencies “will be working around the clock to minimise any disruption” on the Tube, bus and rail and road networks. on the Tube, bus, rail and road networks.