Heavy snow fall has affected large parts of the United Kingdom, with the Met Office's (rarely issued) Red warning for snow living up to its promise. The BBC reports there has been a widespread closure of schools across the country, with as many as 400 shutting down in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

And among the list of services, facilities and aspects of everyday life affected by the snowstorm are airports (British Airways has confirmed cancellation of several flights leaving over the weekend), train stations and tube services. BBC confirmed that Southampton Airport would remain closed till at least 3pm GMT, with 6in of snow predicted. In addition, it is advised that all passengers and people travelling to either Heathrow or London City airports check flight status, with their respective airlines, before leaving home.

The UK Met Office's Red warning is in effect for Wales, with London and South East England among the areas issued an amber warning. The weekend forecast for London includes temperatures as low as -2°C and very cold winds. The snow warning, according to a notice on the Met Office's Web site, is in effect till 9pm GMT on 18 January.

The statement reads:

"Many parts of the Red Warning area are likely to have 20-30 cm of snow with strong southeasterly winds causing blizzards, severe drifting of lying snow and thus severe disruption. Elsewhere, accumulations of more than 5-10 cm of snow will occur quite widely, with 15 cm in some western parts of the Amber area, falling within 3-6 hours."

In addition, road warnings have also been issued, with police asking people to stay indoors as far as possible and only travel on roads if absolutely necessary. Also, the Highways Agency has confirmed that the A35 in Dorset has been closed, after an incident involving a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV).

Readers are advised to listen to local radio stations for further travel warnings and updates.