Icy weather and snow hits Britain, closing Manchester Airport and affecting train services

Ice and snow have caused travel disruptions in England and Scotland, forcing Manchester Airport to close temporarily and canceling dozens of train services.

Manchester Airport said it had to shut down Thursday morning to allow snowplows to clear the runways. The airport reopened hours later, but passengers were warned to expect delays.

Britain's weather forecast service, the Met Office, has issued a severe cold weather alert for northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with heavy snow and sleet showers expected. In Sheffield, central England, local officals reported about 1 foot (30 centimeters) of snowfall.

More than a dozen train services were canceled between Manchester and York, and heavy snow also forced the closure of main roads in the Durham and Yorkshire areas.

More than 100 schools were closed.