Snow and high winds returning to UK

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Heavy snow and high winds swept across parts of Britain today with forecasters predicting more unsettled weather to come.

Drivers faced treacherous conditions and flights were delayed at one of Scotland's major airports as a blanket of snow covered roads and closed the runway.

But forecasters predicted a brief respite from the blustery winter weather tomorrow before unsettled conditions return later in the week.

The latest storms come after the nation was gripped by conditions chillier than parts of Iceland and Greenland in the first two weeks of the year as temperatures fell close to minus 12C (10.4F).

At one point, it was so cold in central London that the fountains in Trafalgar Square froze.

Today, the heavy snow and freezing temperatures closed the runway at Edinburgh Airport for more than one and a half hours this morning, causing "knock-on delays" for passengers, a spokesman for the airport operator BAA Scotland said.

Three flights, all domestic services, were diverted to Glasgow Airport. The spokesman advised passengers to check with their airlines before travelling.

Earlier, Dumfries and Galloway Police said heavy snow caused tailbacks on the A74(M) motorway, which links Scotland and England.

And drivers faced difficult driving conditions around Lanark as snow covered major routes.

Victoria Kettley, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "There will be ice on the roads and some frost. It will still be fairly breezy but not as bad as it has been over the weekend.

"Tuesday is going to be a fairly fine day, with much of the UK dry and fine, although it will feel chilly in the wind."

The temperature will be 3C (37.4F) to 6C (42.8F), but tomorrow night will be cold, with the mercury only reaching minus 3C (26.6F) or minus 2C (28.4F).

The following day will start fine but then become increasingly cloudy with heavy rain spreading east through the evening and snow in Scotland.

Gale force winds will return on Wednesday night.

Over the weekend, downpours and severe gusts which reached more than 100mph in parts of the UK toppled trees and cut off power lines.

In Co Down, Northern Ireland, a woman in her 30s was killed when a falling tree struck her car on Saturday.

The wild weather was due to a powerful jetstream coming in from the Atlantic which caused low pressure to develop, forecasters said.