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Thousands of people face further disruption in European airports

Disruption to travel in UK and Europe

Severe weather is causing disruption to travel in parts of Europe. Many UK airports are closed. Passengers are advised to check with their airline before making their way to the airport. There is disruption to travel in parts of Europe due to severe weather conditions. Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and UK have been affected. According to Bloomberg, heavy drifting snow and widespread icy roads…

Severe weather is causing disruption to travel in parts of Europe. Many UK airports are closed. Passengers are advised to check with their airline before making their way to the airport. There is disruption to travel in parts of Europe due to severe weather conditions. Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and UK have been affected.

According to Bloomberg, heavy drifting snow and widespread icy roads are expected to descend across Europe today starting in parts of Scotland and Germany, European weather agencies reported. Worst affected areas in the U.K. could see up to eight inches (20 centimeters) of snow tomorrow, the U.K.-based Met Office, a state-funded agency, said in a severe weather warning today. Germany will likely record its coldest December in 40 years, German-based N24 television meteorologist Alexander Hildebrand.

“Given the fact that we’re going to see quite a rapid change and a fall in temperature there is the potential for some disruption to travel networks,” said Met Office spokesman John Hammond by phone. “We could see ice forming on untreated roads and pavements, coinciding with the drive home for many people this evening.”

In general, accumulations of up to four inches in the U.K. are forecast, by the Met Office. All schools are closed in Shetland and some in Orkney and Aberdeenshire, according to local U.K. government websites. Some rail services are suspended in the Highlands.

According to BBC, British Airways is hoping that about 60 flights will depart Heathrow on Monday morning, but dozens of cancellations have been announced. Hundreds of travellers slept there for a second night, amid mounting anger. Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh and Southampton airports are open but expect delays or cancellations.

Airport operator BAA said further cancellations and delays at Heathrow would be inevitable.It added that beyond Monday there would be continued problems "as airlines move diverted aircraft and crew back to their normal positions".

The BBC’s Asha Tanna said: "Airline bosses have been meeting to discuss how many flights will be able to operate once the weather improves but with forecasters predicting further snow and freezing fog passengers are now being advised not to travel and to cancel their trips and get a full refund instead."

No trains were running between Oxford and Hereford, while some Chiltern Railways, South West Trains and First Capital Connect services were affected by the weather. With France also suffering severe weather, Eurostar said people should not travel unless it is necessary. It also said speed restrictions and delays were expected.

The German Weather Service issued snow and freezing rain warnings for northern Germany with snow forecast for much of the rest of the country.

A weather front from the North Sea “will bring heavy snowfall” and “stormy winds” that will lead to drifting, the Weather Service said on its website. Snowfall will begin in southern Germany late today or early tomorrow, the report said.

Temperatures are predicted to plunge to as low as minus 13 Celsius (8.6 Fahrenheit) in parts of Scotland tomorrow, the Met Office said. In London temperatures will fall to minus 5 Celsius and in Berlin they are forecast to drop as low as minus 10 Celsius tomorrow, according to the Global Weather Platform.

The Met Office issues weather warnings when there is at least 80 percent confidence that severe or extreme weather is expected, the state-funded agency said.

N24 footage showed falling snow with traffic flowing on the A1 highway that runs north-southwest from the Baltic Sea to the western city of Saarbrueken.

Most of Germany can expect a White Christmas this year, the Meteorology Institute of Berlin’s Free University said today in an e-mailed statement. In Berlin and the surrounding eastern state of Brandenburg there is likely to be more snow on the ground on Dec. 25 in over 100 years, the statement said.

The travel plans of millions of people across Europe were affected earlier this month when heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures grounded airplanes, halted trains and turned highways into parking lots. The snowfall was the earliest to blanket the U.K. since 1993.

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