UK: Scores of flights cancelled as fog shrouds the country... and we've got gales and even SNOW on the way
Mon, 21 Nov 2011 09:06 CST
Mon, 21 Nov 2011 09:06 CST
The Met Office issued a severe weather warning this morning for regions including London and the South-East, the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber and the east of England.
And there are even reports that the UK could be facing snow later this week as the spell of unseasonably warm weather comes to an end.
By 8.30am a total of 24 flights from Heathrow were already cancelled, according to a spokesman.
The destinations affected included Manchester, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Brussels, Stockholm, Cologne and Nice.
Ten flights due to depart from London City had also been cancelled, with services to Dublin, Rotterdam and Paris among those hit.
One flight scheduled to depart Leeds Bradford Airport earlier today has also been cancelled. The 6.20am KLM service had been due to fly to Amsterdam, which has also been affected by fog.
Hundreds of passengers had their journeys disrupted last night as fog grounded flights at London airports.
At Heathrow, 132 flights, most of them short-haul, were cancelled and many others delayed. Officials warned that the poor visibility could continue for the first half of today.
London City Airport said 44 flights were suspended and dozens delayed or diverted due to the poor weather, though all restrictions had been lifted by late last night.
There were also severe delays at Gatwick, but officials said there were only a handful of cancellations.
The severe weather warning issued by the Met Office for this morning was lifted around ten o'clock and is no longer in place.
Yesterday saw winter finally start to bite, but temperatures will remain mild until Thursday when frosts and gale force winds of up to 60mph will set in, forecasters said.
And snow will hit the UK by the end of the week, according to the Met Office, who forecast that the Scottish Highlands are likely to see snow on Thursday or Friday.
Heavy fog delayed or cancelled around 58 inbound and 74 outbound flights at Heathrow, the worst affected airport.
All stranded passengers had been re-booked and would be put up in hotel accommodation overnight if necessary, said a spokesman.
Some domestic passengers were being taken to their destination by coach.
The airport was still open, and most flights did manage to take off and land, but air traffic controllers were restricting numbers for safety reasons, she said.
On the roads, visibility was said to be less than 100 yards in some areas.
A man of 20 was killed after his car struck a garden wall in thick fog in Strood, Kent.
Two passengers were treated for minor injuries. The M25 was reduced to a 30mph zone as drivers struggled to get home. The Met Office last night issued weather warnings for dense fog for Yorkshire and Humberside, the East and West Midlands, the East of England and the South-East.
The next two or three days will be mild, up at 12c or even 14c, though cloud and some blustery showers are expected.
There was sunshine for many on Saturday as temperatures hit 15.9c in Otterbourne, Hampshire - warmer than June's average peak temperatures of 15.4c.
Five weeks from Christmas, pub beer gardens had a busy weekend, shoppers in sunglasses hit high streets wearing light jumpers, walkers enjoyed picnics amid glorious autumnal colours and families were even seen picking blackberries.
The weekend probably marks the end of an extraordinary six weeks of above-average temperatures.
From Thursday, they will dip to around 8c (46f) across the country, and close to zero at night, although there is no sign yet of the heavy snow experienced last winter.
Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said: 'Towards the end of the week it will definitely feel colder, particularly in the North.
'Temperatures will be back to normal for this time of year.'
However forecasters said another freezing winter - which would be the third in a row - was unlikely.
But it was certainly nice weather for ducks....
Meanwhile, a mallard at London Wetland Centre has hatched a clutch of 11 ducklings, about six months later than usual.
The ducklings, which should have made an appearance sometime between April and June, have been enjoying the winter sunshine. amid temperatures as high as 16C in some places.
The latest that mallard ducklings would normally hatch is August, but that tends to happen when a clutch has failed and the adults try for a second brood.