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Icy UK's lowest temperature since 2012 provides cold comfort on Valentine's Day

Published 14/02/2016

Walkers tackle the snow covered Pen y Fan mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
Walkers tackle the snow covered Pen y Fan mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Valentine's Day brought the UK's coldest temperature in four years as snow and icy weather swept large parts of the country.

Severe weather warnings were in place for northern England and Scotland, where the mercury dropped as low as minus 14.1C (6.62F) in Braemar, Aberdeenshire.

It was the UK's lowest temperature since 2012, when minus 15.6C (3.92F) was recorded in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, the Met Office said.

More warnings for snow and ice have been issued for Monday across the east of Britain, with up to 10cm (3.9in) of snow predicted in some places.

Met Office forecaster Tom Crocker said: "Warnings have been issued for snow and ice. It is mainly concerning much of the eastern half of the country, from Scotland to East Anglia, which will see wintry showers.

"There is a risk of two to five centimetres of snow in some local places, with five to 10 centimetres over some hills in the north.

"Quite widely, temperatures will be close to freezing or a degree or so below, bringing the risk of ice."

Temperatures across much of the rest of England and Wales are set to reach 5C-6C (41F-42.8F), he added.

The Met Office has warned of the risk of ice on untreated surfaces, with places near the coast of eastern and south east England expected to be worst hit.

The Environment Agency has issued four flood warnings - meaning flooding is expected and immediate action is required - and 39 flood alerts across England and Wales.

The warnings were issued for Curry and Hay Moors in Somerset, the River Severn at Apperley and the Leigh and Severn Ham, Tewkesbury, in G loucestershire, and South Winterbourne Valley in Dorset.

It comes after the Thames Barrier was closed on Friday for the first time this winter when the river burst its banks at Greenwich.

The cold snap comes days after the country was hit by the strong winds of Storm Imogen. Electricity had to be restored to thousands of homes left without power by the 100mph gusts.

RSPCA inspector Mike Reid, 54, has not been found after he vanished going to the aid of around 30 gannets stranded on rocks near Penzance, Cornwall.

Meanwhile, bookmaker Coral has cut the odds on it being the wettest February on record from 4-6 to 1-2. The firm is also offering odds of 2-1 that the record wind speed of 173mph will be broken.

Coral spokesman John Hill said: "The gamble on this month being the wettest February we have ever seen in the UK has picked up pace over the last week and following another flurry of bets, the odds now suggest it is very likely that we will be in for a record month of rainfall."

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