Landslip body found as weather bites

More than 200,000 homes in Belfast were affected by a blackout, as Ed Thomas reports

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Heavy snow is causing disruption to transport across the UK, with heavy rainfall bringing flooding to the south-west of England.

Rescuers searching for a woman trapped in a landslide at her home in Looe, Cornwall, said they had found a body.

Over 200,000 Belfast customers were affected by a blackout but power is starting to be restored.

Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifier with Russia has been postponed until 15:00 GMT Saturday due to heavy snow.

There are 12 flood warnings in the South West, with Met Office warnings for snow covering much of the UK.

This comes just over a week before the start of British Summer Time.

Latest local information from the BBC

BBC forecasters said the snow would cause travel disruption across northern parts of the UK on Friday, with some 20cm-40cm (8in-16in) falling in places. Atrocious conditions could be expected on high ground, they said.

Roads in northern parts of Wales, the Midlands into the Pennines, southern Scotland and Northern Ireland would be the worst affected, while gale force winds would blow snow and drifts across trans-Pennine routes, they added.

In other developments:

Meanwhile, flooding is affecting parts of southern Cornwall and Devon, with some areas predicted to see 50-75mm of rain falling in a 24 to 48-hour period.

In Looe, Cornwall, torrential overnight rain caused the partial collapse of a house, converted into flats. Specialist search teams, including one using a sniffer dog, arrived at Veronica Flats in Sandplace Road, to search for a missing woman. Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service later said they had found a body.

March 2013 UK weather compared with the previous year

The Met Office has one amber warning, which means "be prepared," for heavy rain in south-west England.

Parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have amber warnings for snow in place.

Heavy snow is expected to continue into the night and Saturday across central swathes of the country, with a risk of snowfall hitting the Home Counties and north of London.

Winter weather in spring

  • Caused by persistent easterly winds from frozen continental Europe which have chilled North Sea to 4C or 5C
  • Average temperature is currently around 3C - normally should be nearer 6C
  • Coldest March on record was in 1962 with a mean temperature of 1.9C, which will not be beaten this year
  • Could be colder than the more recent cold March of 1987 with a mean temperature of 3.3C
  • Forecasters say the cold could hang on until the bitter end of March

Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association's economy and transport board, urged people to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours to ensure they were all right during the extreme weather.

As well as setting flood warnings, which mean "flooding is expected, immediate action required", in the South West, the Environment Agency also has around 90 flood alerts, meaning "flooding is possible, be prepared", across England.

Environment Agency spokesman Ben Johnstone said: "We strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings on the Environment Agency website, keep a close eye on local weather forecasts and be prepared for possible flooding."

People should not try to wade or drive through any deep water, he added.

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AA head of operations Darron Burness, meanwhile, has warned of "a real witches' brew of driving wind, rain and snow" for drivers across the UK.

"Drivers should be well prepared as even short journeys can quickly turn bad," he said.

"Wherever you're going, take plenty of warm layers, check the travel reports before heading out and stick to the main roads where possible."

For BBC news and travel for your area, have a look here, for BBC Weather here, while nationwide BBC travel news can be found here.

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UK forecast for 21/08/2014

Map Key

  • land colour Land
  • cloud colour Cloud
  • Lakes, Rivers & Sea colour Lakes, Rivers & Sea

Fog

Fog Colour Range
Light
Heavy

Frost

Frost Colour Range
Light
Heavy

Pressure Fronts

Cold Front Illustration
Cold
Warm Front Illustration
Warm
Occluded Front Illustration
Occluded

Rain

Rain Colour Range
Light
Heavy
Extreme

Snow

Snow Colour Range
Light
Heavy

Temperature tab only

Temperature (°C)

Temperature range chart

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