(CNN) — Heavy snow fell in many parts of the UK on Sunday as Storm Caroline, the biggest storm so far this year, caused widespread disruption with road and air travel severely affected.
Central England and Wales were the worst hit regions witnessing up to 11 inches of snow in some places in just a few hours. Northern Ireland was also slammed.
Sleet and snow fell in central London as temperatures plummeted.
Passengers hoping to flee the winter weather from London’s Heathrow Airport faced cancellations and delays to their journeys, with plenty of planes caught up in the chaos.
“Weather across the UK and Europe is resulting in some passengers experiencing disruption to their journeys. Passengers are advised to check their flight status with their airline before coming to the airport,” a spokesperson for the airport told CNN.
With outgoing flights disrupted before departing the gates, incoming planes were forced to sit on the tarmac for hours, according to CNN’s Nic Robertson who was returning to London Sunday.
Robertson said his flight had been waiting for a gate to free up for three hours. Pilots on his airplane told passengers two hours after landing in London that a further 20 to 30 planes had since arrived in the British capital and were joining the queue of waiting planes.
Flights were also suspended at Birmingham Airport while the runway was cleared, leaving passengers facing delays, while the M1 motorway was closed in Leicestershire because of vehicles being stranded.
Amber weather warnings were in place across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and much of western England as icy conditions plunged roads into chaos, with temperatures of -11 degrees Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit) making it the coldest night of 2017, according to Press Association.
“The worst of the snow is currently across parts of Wales and the west and southern Midlands, while there is some snow falling over the home counties as well,” said Meteorological Office forecaster Steven Keate.
“Herefordshire, Shropshire and Powys have seen a few centimeters in a couple of hours.”
“There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off,” the Meteorological Office said on its website.
“This is an update to extend the warning area as far south as Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.”