Snow blasts icy Britain

2010-12-17 19:06
London - A fresh blast of snow threatened to throw Britain's roads and railways into disarray in the run-up to Christmas, as winter tightened its grip on the country for the second time this year.

This December is likely to be the coldest since digital records began in 1910 if temperatures in the second half of the month are as low as they have been in the first, said Helen Chivers, a forecaster at the Met Office.

It issued a flash warning for London and southeast England. Flash warnings are given when the Met Office has 80% or greater confidence that severe weather will strike soon.

Motorists were warned to exercise caution on icy roads, and already police in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland have told drivers to avoid non-essential travel.

The Automobile Association (AA) said call-outs were up by 50% compared with an average Friday in December, and the surge in holiday traffic was set to make matters worse.

More snow is expected later on Friday and by Saturday, another band of heavy snow will move South, towards the Midlands and southern Wales, with 5 to 10cm likely in many places and up to 20 to 25cm possible in others.

Fuel supplies

Flights were suspended at Inverness, Exeter, City of Derry, Belfast City and Belfast International airports, while services on some train lines have been cancelled or delayed.

Energy Minister Charles Hendry warned on Thursday that more bad weather over Christmas could lead to "very serious" shortages of domestic heating oil.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he said higher demand along with delayed deliveries and soaring oil prices means homes may have to wait as long as four weeks for supplies.

But Quentin Churchill, a sales and marketing manager at oil distributor Tate Oil warned customers not to panic-buy.

"The supply problem will be a logistics problem rather than an actual shortage at the refineries," he said.

But he conceded: "In general, most companies can't deliver this side of New Year now, so if you're without fuel, that's a long, long time and a very unhappy cold Christmas."

Read more on:    weather

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.