Tuesday, 28 March, 2023

Schools shut, drivers stuck as gales, blizzards batter UK

Schools shut, drivers stuck as gales, blizzards batter UK
This photo shows the Loxley area of Sheffield after heavy snow overnight in England on Friday. The Met Office has issued warnings for northern England, the Midlands, North Wales and Northern Ireland, where "significant disruption" to transport and power supplies is expected. — AP Photo

LONDON: Trains were canceled, some schools were shut and drivers were stuck for hours on a major highway as a blast of snow and wind hit Britain on Friday for the second time in a week, reports AP.

The weather system, named Storm Larissa by meteorologists, brought gales and blizzards to much of the country. Alex Burkill, a meteorologist with the Met Office weather agency, said the worst-hit area was northern England and north Wales, where 50 mph (80 kph) wind gusts were accompanied by up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow.

Some drivers spent more than seven hours in their cars after traffic ground to a halt on the M62 highway that cuts across northern England.

“I saw lots of abandoned sports cars, one Jaguar left on the road with a shovel stuck in the ground next to it and no driver,” said video journalist Richard McCarthy. “There were lots of lorries losing momentum and getting stuck.”

Many roads on high ground in central England’s Peak District were impassable, and the train line linking the cities of Manchester and Sheffield was closed by fallen trees.

Freezing Arctic air has sent temperatures plunging this week to as low as minus 16 degrees Celsius (3 Fahrenheit) in the Scottish Highlands.

The Met Office said it isn’t unusual for the country to experience a cold snap in the spring, when conditions are often highly variable. Statistically, the UK is marginally more likely to get snow in March than it is in December, the office said.