More snow falls as 'mini beast from the east' sweeps in

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The wintry snap dubbed the "mini beast from the east" brought up to 15cm of snow for parts of the south east overnight as temperatures plummeted below freezing nation-wide.

A Met office amber alerted people of potential life threats in place such south-west England, south-east and mid-Wales and the West Midlands all day.

The Met office said: "Outbreaks of snow affecting many areas will turn mostly light and showery".

Charlotte Armitage, citizen science officer for the Woodland Trust, told the Metro: 'When we get prolonged mild periods as we have done recently, plants and wildlife are fooled into thinking the seasons are changing and start to become more active. "We're looking at some fairly large snowfall totals".

"It's not common for these areas to see this type of snow", said Mr Burkhill.

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The cold weather should only last a few days though - by Tuesday, temperatures will be getting back to average for the time of year. But it will remain windy and bitterly cold throughout the day.

Those bitter easterly winds are leading to a significant wind chill risk, making it feel several degrees colder than thermometers show.

More than 10,000 airline passengers booked to fly to or from Heathrow on Sunday have had their flights cancelled because of wintry weather.

"You can do this by checking the Met Office website for the daily forecast or our warnings page, or you could download our weather app which will ensure you can keep up to date while you are out and about".

Gatwick Airport tweeted on Saturday night: "Gatwick is now operating a normal service, however the weather is predicted to deteriorate and all passengers are strongly advised to check with their airline for the latest flight information before leaving for the airport".

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Drivers are being warned to take care in the snow this afternoon as flurries continue to fall across Kent.

Stansted and Luton airports also advised passengers to check with their airlines.

Richard Leonard, Highways England Head of Road Safety, said: "Gritters will be out treating our roads around the clock, but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast".

The M25 was gridlocked on Saturday between junctions 17 and 18 anti-clockwise after an air ambulance was called in to a crash.

Meanwhile, 11 people were rescued or made their own way to safety after two rowing boats and an accompanying safety boat capsized in the River Stour in Bournemouth.

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