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Britain wakes to big freeze as temperatures plummet

Published 20/01/2016

A thin layer of ice covers the fountains in Trafalgar Square, London, as swathes of the country have been warned of icy conditions.
A thin layer of ice covers the fountains in Trafalgar Square, London, as swathes of the country have been warned of icy conditions.
The sunrise over Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire , as swathes of the country have been warned of icy conditions.
Nelson's Column is reflected in a thin layer of ice covering the fountains in Trafalgar Square, London, as swathes of the country have been warned of icy conditions.

Britain has woken to another icy start with a risk of fog affecting the morning rush hour.

Swathes of the country shivered overnight as a widespread frost took hold and temperatures fell below freezing, dropping to minus 8C (17.6F) in parts of Oxfordshire and further still in the Scottish Highlands.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings of ice, stretching from the northern half of Scotland down to northern England up to 11am and freezing fog is expected to linger, with scattered light wintry showers across the north and east later on.

A yellow fog warning has been issued for some western parts of the Midlands, with localised dense freezing fog and lighter patches expected until 10.30am.

Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said: "There are patches of quite dense freezing fog that can be quite nasty and the ice in Scotland could be problematic. It will be a pretty wintry start for most."

When skies clear later the south and west are expected to enjoy bright, crisp spells - although temperatures will remain low.

A band of rain is expected to arrive from the west on Wednesday night with icy winds. Any clear patches risk the return of freezing fog, especially in eastern parts.

The Met Office said the coldest spot in the UK on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning was at Kinbrace in Sutherland, northern Scotland, where the mercury dropped to minus 10.6C.

The Highland village had experienced the coldest night of the year so far with temperatures falling to minus 12.4C in the early hours of Tuesday.

Upper Lambourn in Oxfordshire had the coldest night in England, where a low of minus 8.4C was recorded.

Towards the end of the week temperatures are expected to warm up slightly as less cold air edges in, bringing rain with it.

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