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UK braced for icy blast as temperatures take a plunge

Temperatures will continue to plunge heading into the weekend with ice warnings in place across much of the UK.

With commuters facing treacherous driving conditions, forecasters are predicting a sharp drop in temperature.

This will be due to clear skies in some places which will cause ice patches to form.

Yellow ice warnings are in place along the east coast of Scotland and England as well as Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of south-west England and the Midlands.

A Met Office spokesman said: "Temperatures will fall sharply after dark on Friday evening allowing icy patches to form on untreated surfaces, including footpaths and cycleways.

"Some freezing fog patches are also likely overnight, most likely over eastern parts of Northern Ireland.

"Scattered wintry showers will continue to move down from the north but will gradually become confined to eastern areas where there will be some slight accumulations of snow.

"There will be widespread frost forming, along with icy patches where there have been showers."

Saturday will see a frosty start but many areas will stay dry and enjoy sunny spells. Wintry showers will persist in eastern areas.

Early next week the forecast is expected to be changeable with showers or longer spells of rain, sleet and snow.

With winter weather finally taking hold many places across the UK saw a covering of snow during the week, causing travel disruption.

On Thursday two schools in Northumberland were reportedly closed because of severe weather conditions.

Network Rail said they had thousands of rail engineers working "day and night" to prevent delays to travel.

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