Cold weather has intensified across the UK, with heavy snow causing further disruption after overnight temperatures of almost -12C (11F) in some areas.
Amber warnings for snow are in place, covering parts of Scotland, northern England, the East Midlands, the east and south-east of England and London.
Drivers have been warned to take extra care as emergency services deal with stranded motorists and crashes.
Hundreds of schools are closed and public transport is widely affected.
Flights have been cancelled and rail operators have warned disruption will continue throughout Wednesday.
As many as 400 schools in Scotland have shut their doors, with hundreds more closing in England – including in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Essex and Yorkshire.
Airports including London City, Glasgow and Newcastle have suspended flights as they work to clear snow from their runways. More than 100 flights at Heathrow have been cancelled.
National Rail is also warning that its services could face major disruption, with the Stansted Express already cancelled between Liverpool Street and Bishop’s Stortford.
Hospitals in Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Goole have cancelled all outpatient appointments because of the weather.
In other developments:
- British Airways says flights are likely to be affected throughout the week and warns that for “several hours during the worst of the weather” on Wednesday, flights will be reduced “proactively” at Heathrow
- Gatwick Airport says it is running without delays, but has asked passengers to check with airlines before travelling
- Some flights out of Edinburgh have been cancelled
- Roads in Norfolk have been blocked due to vehicles stuck in snow, including the A11 southbound at Wymondham and the A143 at Haddiscoe
- Part of the A1 in Cambridgeshire is shut in both directions, between the A1M junction 17 and the A6121 at Tinwell
- A lorry has jack-knifed on the A1 in the north east, with the road closed southbound near junction 52, between Scotch Corner and Catterick
- The A66 in Durham is closed between the A1M and the A685. The A59 in North Yorkshire is closed westbound after the A61 between Harrogate and Skipton
- A lorry has come off the road on the A90 at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire and the A93 is shut at Braemar
- Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre in Gillingham, Kent, has been forced to close because of the heavy snow
- The University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art are also shut due to the weather
The Met Office has issued an amber warning – meaning widespread damage, travel and power disruption is likely – for Scotland and northeast England.
It has predicted up to 10cm (4in) of snow between 06:00 GMT on Wednesday and 18:00 on Thursday – although it could be as much as 40cm (15in) over hills.
Another amber warning is in place across the East Midlands, the east and south east of England and London, with up to 15cm (6 inches) of snow predicted to fall between 00:30 GMT and 10:00 GMT on Wednesday.
A less severe yellow warning for snow is in place for parts of Scotland, northern England, Northern Ireland, the south-west and south-east England, the West Midlands, East Midlands and London until 23:55 GMT.
An early amber warning has also been issued for between 14:00 GMT on Thursday and 08:00 GMT on Friday for snow and ice across south west England, Wales, the West Midlands, London and south east England.
The UK is experiencing what is predicted to be the coldest week of the winter in five years.
The lowest temperature recorded overnight was -11.7C in South Farnborough, Hampshire.
Other particularly cold spots were Cairnwell, in Scotland, Ravensworth, in North Yorkshire, and Frittenden in Kent.
On Tuesday three people died following a crash in Lincolnshire while one man died in a crash in Cambridgeshire, amid warnings of treacherous conditions on roads.
On the A120, in Essex, 17 vehicles were involved in a crash.
Scotland’s transport minister has warned of potentially “extreme” weather conditions later this week.
Humza Yousaf has said the amber warnings in force for many areas for Wednesday and Thursday could be upgraded to red – meaning people should take immediate action to keep themselves safe from the impact of the weather.
In Northumbria, a major incident was declared by police on Tuesday afternoon after more than 500 homes were left without power in Cowgate, Newcastle, until the early hours.
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