UK braced for more snow after coldest night for nearly two years
Swathes of the country saw temperatures dip below freezing overnight.
People across the country are braced for more snow after the UK froze on the coldest night in nearly two years.
Wintry conditions are to continue to grip large parts of the UK on Sunday, with snow forecast for areas from northern Scotland to the Home Counties.
Temperatures plummeted overnight, with a low of -13.5C (7.7F) recorded in the Highland village of Dalwhinnie, while freezing temperatures were recorded as far south as London Luton Airport.
The Met Office has updated a yellow “be aware” warning of snow and ice to cover much of Scotland, north Wales and England down to southern parts.
The warning, valid from 6am until 6pm, predicts snow on higher routes and says that rain may fall onto frozen surfaces for a time, particularly across Scotland, following a very cold night.
Icy patches are likely on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths – while some disruption could be seen to journeys by road, bus and train on affected routes.
Traffic Scotland urged drivers to check their routes before setting off and to ensure they were carrying emergency supplies in case they get stuck.
North Wales Police also warned of poor conditions on the roads due to snow and ice, particularly on routes in Snowdonia.
Meanwhile, the Mountain Road was closed on the Isle of Man due to snow.
In Northern Ireland, a yellow warning of ice is in force until 9am on Sunday, while a yellow warning of rain runs until 3pm.
Snowy conditions have seen crowd flock to Scottish ski resorts over the weekend.
On Friday in Glencoe, blizzard conditions hampered a rescue operation to save two ski tourers stranded without shelter at 3,000ft.
The pair were winched into a coastguard helicopter at first light on Saturday before being taken to hospital by ambulance.
Police warned skiers heading to resorts not to park on the verges after disruption on Saturday and warned that cars causing obstructions may be seized.
Skiers faced six-mile tailbacks as they flocked to the slopes at Glencoe Mountain Resort to take advantage of the snowy conditions.
Drivers abandoned their cars on the roads as they tried to reach the resorts where car parks were full and police said high volumes of traffic hampered the efforts of gritters.
Heading to @glencoemountain & @TheNevisRange today? Please do NOT park on verges/sides of roads & cause obstructions. Gritters & emergency vehicles require access at ALL times. Arrive early & use car parks. Cars causing obstructions may be seized. pic.twitter.com/8p1bMV6bPb— NorthernPolice (@northernPolice) January 21, 2018
Saturday night saw the coldest temperature recorded in the UK since February 14 2016, when minus 14.1C (6.6F) was recorded at Braemar.
Despite the frigid temperatures in the far north, the mercury rose to 11C in the (52F) in the far south west of England.
Met Office forecaster Steven Keate said the near 20C (46F) difference, caused as warmer air moves in, was “pretty unusual for the UK”.
“The broad theme is it is turning milder from the west, but before we get there some snow will fall,” he said.
Good Morning, A wet, cloudy start for western and southwestern UK. Windy in far west. Cold, dry elsewhere. Rain then spreading eastwards bringing snow to northern high ground and temporarily to lower levels. Snow will turn increasingly to rain. https://t.co/jtrhUzUBdR ^Daniel pic.twitter.com/x2Go0ktYE8— Met Office (@metoffice) January 21, 2018
On Friday, members of the public were urged to stay off the roads in some areas of Scotland, with weather warnings covering much of the country.
Dozens of schools around Scotland were closed while some shut early due to the weather.
On Tuesday night, more than 200 motorists were stranded overnight on the M74 as heavy snow and ice caused treacherous driving conditions.