'A real north-south divide': Scotland and northern England face blizzards and travel misery, while London escapes the snow storms and temperatures finally begin to rise

  • @johnmatthewhall

Snow covered northern Britain overnight, as yet another wintry blast sent temperatures plummeting and left mid-March feeling more like early January.

Around 10cm of snow fell on parts of Scotland and northern England by this morning, with the temperature hitting a maximum high of just 3c in those parts of the country today.

Areas south of Yorkshire and Cumbria are expected to escape the snow showers however, with London possibly even seeing a high of 9c - although that comparatively balmy temperature is likely to be tainted somewhat by scattered showers.

But for north east England and central and eastern Scotland, the worst may still be to come after the Met Office issued amber weather warnings and urged people to prepare for disruption.

Matt Dobson, a forecaster for MeteoGroup said: “It's a real north-south split today...Over high ground up to 10cm could have fallen over night, with the potential for the same amount again today.“

He added: “Even down to sea level there could be a covering of between one and four cm, very likely in Edinburgh...In the north of England there will be up to six cms overnight and a few more falling throughout the day, along with higher parts of north Wales.”

He went on to say that the cold weather and snow storms across the north were likely to linger throughout the week and could even lead to blizzard conditions in Scotland.

The latest icy blast continues a cold month across the UK which has brought an unwelcome delay to Springtime weather.

Mr Dobson said that while snow is not uncommon for March, the continued cold weather is.

He said: “Whether you think that Spring officially starts on March 1 or March 21, this is certainly unusually cold for this time of year...It's very cold for mid-March when we should expect much higher temperatures.“

He added: ”It's not unusual for it to snow in March, in fact we are far more likely to see snow at Easter than at Christmas...What is unusual for March is how persistent the cold weather and snow is.”

The cold weather is likely to bring more travel misery today.

Yesterday a number of key commuter routes were disrupted, including some south-east England journeys which were hit by a build-up of ice on the “third rail” from which trains get their power.

Services in Hampshire, Surrey and Kent were particularly affected, with a number of trains being delayed and cancelled, while passengers were left waiting for trains between Rugby, Northampton and London, and signalling problems in Glasgow led to delays.

Police closed the A66 across the Pennines between Bowes, County Durham, and Stainmore, Cumbria, because of heavy snow and Leeds Bradford International Airport was closed.

The bad weather will mean a cargo ship, MV Danio, which ran aground on Saturday on rocks near a lighthouse in the Farne Islands, three miles off the Northumberland coast, will stay put for at least a week.