Flights suspended as Arctic air, snow and sleet blast UK


Dozens of flights were disrupted in the U.K. and some schools were forced to close Wednesday as snow blanketed much of the country.

Britain’s national weather agency, the Met Office, said temperatures in the Scottish Highlands dropped to minus 15.4 degrees Celsius (4 F) overnight, the coldest recorded in March since 2010.

Freezing Arctic air is expected to blast the U.K. for the rest of the week, the weather agency said, warning of travel disruptions and power cuts in rural northern areas.

Bristol Airport in southwest England closed briefly on Wednesday morning for snow clearing and reported ongoing schedule disruptions. London’s Gatwick Airport said some passengers experienced minor delays.

In Wales, dozens of schools were closed amid heavy snowfall.

The Met Office said the unsettled weather was a result of a clash between an Arctic maritime air mass and milder Atlantic air. Sleet, snow and freezing temperatures will continue to affect most areas of the U.K. until Friday, it said.

The weather service said it wasn’t particularly unusual for the country to experience a cold snap in the spring, when conditions are often highly variable. Statistically, the U.K. is marginally more likely to get snow in March than it is in December, the office said.

Heavy snow also disrupted some travel in Sweden.

About a dozen flights were canceled or delayed at Stockholm Airport. Public transportation operator SL said some bus and rail services in the city also were affected.

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute issued a yellow warning, the lowest of its three warnings, for difficult weather on Wednesday.

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