Manchester is no stranger to unfriendly weather conditions, but this most recent blizzard has even the hardest Mancs running indoors for a warm radiator and a mug of beef tea.
We haven't seen snow like this since 2009 and the Beast From The East doesn't look set to stop flinging flakes at us until at least midnight tonight (and probably until weekend). It''s fair to say that we Brits don't really do any kind of weather very well (we faint with heat exhaustion at temperatures over 21 degrees and claim to be 'snowed in' when we get a smattering of the white stuff) so this latest Siberian visitor has predictably caused havoc across roads, motorways and public transport systems in the North West and Manchester.
So far, there have been some flight delays at Manchester Airport due to snow on the runway and ice on wing tips. Flights BA1395 and BA1405 from Manchester Airport to London Heathrow have been cancelled and travellers are advised to keep abreast of further cancellations and delays via Manchester Airport's website.
Travel around the region was halted this morning too with snowy motorways as well as disruption to Manchester's public transport systems.
Up to 39 bus services have been affected by the Beast, with buses operated by First Manchester and Stagecoach either cancelled or struggling with delays. Many bus services in Manchester are now catching up and operating normally.
Typically, Manchester Metrolink also suffered this morning, with a signal failure at Cornbrook resulting in severe delays to the Altrincham, East Didsbury, Eccles via Media City and Manchester Airport lines. There were also minor delays to the Bury and Rochdale services, no doubt leaving commuters cold and frustrated as they waited in snow flurries on packed platforms. All services have now resumed and seem to be operating as normal.
Currently Manchester's motorways are ok, with the M60 Manchester ring road, M61 from Manchester to Preston and Lancashire, and M62 from Liverpool, through Manchester to Leeds all running reasonably smoothly - however travellers are advised to leave enough time for their journey and take it slowly. There is still the possibility of black ice and further snow fall, so be safe rather than sorry!
Several schools in Manchester are also closed today with kids around the region enjoying a rare and much-beloved Snow Day. Both primary and secondary schools and academies in Prestwich, Oldham and Stalybridge have shut their doors for the day, so expect to see gleeful children gadding about the area looking for the best sledging spots in Manchester.
Temperatures have dropped down to around 1C so far but will feel much colder overnight (around -4C to -8C) with a biting wind sure to keep any sensible Mancunian tucked up in bed.
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