Thick fog has sparked travel chaos with flights being diverted away from Leeds Bradford Airport – as forecasters warn the ‘Beast from the East’ will drag the mercury down to 7°C this week.
Some forecasters have even suggested it could result in a white Christmas with Britons warned that a cold snap is finally on the way after an unusually mild autumn.
This afternoon, flights scheduled to land at the airport in Yeadon, Leeds, are being told to touchdown elsewhere because of the thick fog.
The online arrivals board at Leeds Bradford Airport shows flights have been diverted throughout the day.
Flights scheduled to land at Leeds Bradford Airport in Yeadon, Leeds, are being told to touchdown elsewhere because of the thick fog. Pictured: A Jet2 aircraft arriving into LBA in foggy conditions on November 15
Britons are being warned that a cold snap is finally on the way after an unusually mild autumn. Pictured: Snow in 2018
A plane that was due to land in Leeds at 3.50pm from Ivalo in Finland re-routed to East Midlands Airport instead.
Meanwhile slights from Krakow, Faro, Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga and Belfast have also been diverted away from Leeds since 12pm to Liverpool, Manchester and East Midlands.
Leeds Live were told by traffic and travel group Inrix: ‘Reports of fog affecting flight arrivals into Leeds Bradford Airport.
‘Some flights are diverting to alternate airports due to very dense fog and poor visibility. Departures may see a knock on effect due to misplaced aircraft.’
A spokesperson for Leeds Bradford Airport said: ‘We currently remain open but are experiencing some delays and disruptions to flights. We’d recommend passengers check with their airlines and on our website for live updates.’
It comes as high pressure which has caused temperatures as low as -45°C in Russia is expected to reach the UK in the coming days, with an easterly wind sweeping cold air westwards across Europe.
The Met Office played down those suggestions, however, insisting temperatures are likely to fall to around 7°C in the coming days, rather than ‘something unusually cold’.
High pressure which has caused temperatures as low as -45°C in Russia is expected to reach the UK in the coming days, with an easterly wind sweeping cold air westwards across Europe. Pictured snow in 2018
Met Office spokesperson Nicola Maxey told MailOnline: ‘Temperatures are trending down, and the unsettled weather is now being replacing by something more settled. Pictured: Snow in 2018
However, families facing up to difficulties in heating their homes this winter are likely to feel the effects of the cold nonetheless having enjoyed a comparatively warm last few weeks.
Met Office spokesperson Nicola Maxey told MailOnline: ‘Temperatures are trending down, and the unsettled weather is now being replacing by something more settled.
‘After experiencing an unusually mild autumn, there’s going to be a bit of a contrast that people will notice.
‘But it will be more of a return to temperatures we are used to seeing at this time of year rather than something unusually cold.’
Some other meteorologists are claiming snow is looking increasingly likely, while bookmakers have slashed odds on this December being the coldest on record.
Jim Dale from British Weather Services told the Mirror that the imminent Russian winds mark a ‘transition zone’ into a long period of cold weather, which could last until the festive season.
He said: ‘Pressure will start to rise towards the end of the month and into the start of December, holding back the Atlantic and marking the transition zone.
The Beast from the East wreaked havoc on Britain in 2018, causing temperatures to plunge to 12°F (-11°C) in some areas, along with up to 20 inches (50cm) of snow
‘Then high pressure comes in for the start of December, and this is when we are expecting it to start building over the UK, with the first freezing plunge going into Europe and then, if it comes off, bringing easterlies into the UK.
‘The Beast has opened its eyes, and the signals are still there for a possible easterly Beast from the East early blast of winter during the first half of December.’
The Beast from the East wreaked havoc on Britain in 2018, causing temperatures to plunge to 12°F (-11°C) in some areas, along with up to 20 inches (50cm) of snow.
Scientists recently revealed that the storm was fuelled by Arctic sea-ice loss from the Barents Sea.
The Met Office, however, makes no mention of snow in its long-range forecast for mid to late December, but warns of a cold snap, with frost and fog likely.
It reads: ‘Confidence remains low for this period. Conditions are expected to be more settled than of late, with the potential for high pressure to be located close to the UK, at least at first.
‘With time, however, we may see a return to frontal systems moving in from the west, with drier interludes between.
‘Whilst temperatures may average out close to normal overall, colder conditions are possible at times, with a risk of overnight frost and fog higher than normal.’
More immediately, meteorologists say the weather today is likely to involve scattered showers affecting southern and western areas, before fading in the afternoon.
There will be patchy fog in the east, while it is expected to be dry elsewhere, with some sunny spells.
Having been an 8/1 shot last week, the bookies now make it just 4/1 for next month to play host to the coldest December ever, as temperatures begin to slide.
Elsewhere, it remains a 6/4 shot for snow to fall anywhere in the UK on Christmas Day.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: ‘The imminent Beast from the East has seen our odds plummet with the temperatures as we strap in for a potentially record-breaking December.’