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20-degree north-south divide as Braemar in Highlands sees coldest night of 2017

The coldest night of the year so far has been recorded in Scotland, with the UK seeing a temperature difference of more than 20 degrees between north and south.

Braemar in Aberdeenshire saw temperatures dip to minus 10.1C (13.8F), while the Isles of Scilly recorded 10.2C (50.4F), the Met Office said.

Met Office spokeswoman Emma Sharples said Braemar was a "well-known cold spot" due to its location in the Scottish Highlands.

"It is a valley location, so you tend to get cold air drained down into the valley," she said.

The chilly spell did not beat the coldest night of the winter though - on Monday December 5 temperatures fell to minus 11C (12.2F) in Cromdale, Moray.

Snow cover in Scotland and cold air in the north helped keep temperatures low, with overnight figures of minus 3C (26.6F) in Edinburgh, minus 2.8C (27F) in Carlisle and minus 1.6C (29.1F) in Durham.

Meanwhile, temperatures hit 4.3C (39.7F) in Nottingham, 7.1C (44.8F) in Gravesend and 7.7C (45.9F) in Cardiff.

The coldest night in January 2016 was minus 12.4C (9.7F) in Kinbrace, Scotland.

A spokesman from MeteoGroup said the UK could see highs of 13C (55.4F) in the coming week, as the weather gets a lot milder.

He said "low pressure systems moving in from the Atlantic" would cause the change in temperature.

Towards the weekend and into the second week of February, the weather will "get quite unsettled", as wind and heavy rain sweeps across the UK.

The conditions, meanwhile, resulted in a series of accidents in the Highlands including a collision involving seven vehicles on the A9.

Emergency services were called to the multiple accidents on Monday. T he first happened at 9.20am on Drumossie Brae just south of Inverness, before a second happened at 9.30am at the junction to Carrbridge/A938.

Seven vehicles were involved in the first accident including a Volvo coach with 18 passengers, a Ford Ranger, Ford Fiesta, Citroen C3, Volkswagen Passat, Mitsubishi Shogun and a Seat Ibiza.

No-one was injured and police said the road reopened again at around 11.30am.

The second accident at the Carrbridge junction involved a Volkswagen Crafter flatbed van and a lorry. A man in his fifties was airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, but is not believed to be in a life-threatening condition.

Sergeant Donnie MacKinnon of Police Scotland said: "We believe a contributory factor in the collision on the A9 at Drumossie has been the presence of a low-lying sun, causing reduced visibility for drivers.

"It is fortunate no-one has sustained life-threatening injuries and that of course is the most important thing, but these collisions resulted in two separate closures of the main A9 arterial route which brought with it disruption for all road users.

"Whilst I would like to thank road users for their patience during the closures, it is also important to remind drivers of the importance of driving to the road conditions and adjusting their speed accordingly."

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