The UK shivered through another cold night on Tuesday, with some areas approaching near record-low temperatures.
According to provisional recordings by the Met Office, the mercury fell to as low as minus 13C in Glen Ogle, central Scotland, while minus 11C was recorded at Tulloch Bridge in the Scottish Highlands.
Forecasters had predicted some snow covered parts of Scotland could reach minus 15C overnight, which would have been the coldest January night for 14 years.
The last time temperatures dropped that low was in January 2010, when minus 22.3C was recorded.
Tuesday night did mark the coldest night this winter so far, beating the minus 12.5C daily minimum temperature recorded at Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands on December 3.
Freezing temperatures and snow will continue for much of Britain this week because of cold Arctic air before “potentially disruptive” stormy weather lands over the weekend.
A “cold plunge of Arctic air” has moved south across the whole country over the past few days, making it 5C to 6C lower than usual for this time of year, the Met Office said.
A Met Office spokeswoman said the low temperatures are also due to how long the cold snap has lasted.
She said: “It’s due to the prolonged nature of this cold spell, it will have been lasting for quite a few days.
“A build up of snow, as well, just allows for the temperatures to get colder and colder and we don’t often see a cold spell last three to five days.
“The air is coming directly from the Arctic, so it is exceptionally cold air.
“It’s staying cold until Friday, and then looking further ahead into the weekend we’ve got some deep areas of low pressure pushing in, so a big change in weather type, and we could see some stormy conditions by the end of the week.
“The cold isn’t lasting right to end of the week, but we have a very different type of potentially-disruptive weather arriving.”
The weather is forecast to turn stormy on Sunday, she added.
Yellow weather warnings for snow and ice are in place across Scotland, much of northern England and parts of North Wales until Thursday, then more mild temperatures are forecast along with wind and rain.
More than 40cm of snow could be seen on high ground in north-west Scotland by the end of Friday as it continues to build up over the coming days, the Met Office added.
Meanwhile, lower ground in north-west Scotland could see between five and 10cm of snow by the end of the working week.
The Met Office said on Tuesday: “There is a system skirting the south of the UK tonight and on Wednesday. This could bring a few snow flurries to the far south with a small chance of pushing slightly further north to bring more snow to southern counties.”
It said it is reviewing the situation and any new warnings could be issued at short notice.
The weekend will be milder, but westerly weather will bring wind and rain – and the potential for more weather warnings as the snow melts.
The Government has confirmed thousands of households in England and Wales are eligible for cold weather payments.
They are made to vulnerable people, including pensioners, to help them pay for heating when the temperature dips below freezing.
The payments go to those living in an area where the average temperature is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0C or below over seven consecutive days.
Payments will be made to homes across Cumbria, Oxfordshire, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Norfolk, Staffordshire and Powys in Wales.
The UK Health Security Agency has issued a cold-health alert, which warns of possible impacts for the health and social care sector.
More than 100 schools were closed in Scotland on Tuesday, while drivers faced difficult conditions thanks to the wintry weather across north-west England, including in Merseyside, Cheshire and Cumbria.
National Rail warned the wintry weather could affect train journeys all week, with services between Edinburgh/ Glasgow Queen Street and Inverness running to an altered schedule on Wednesday.
ScotRail said a normal service is expected to run on Wednesday, bar a handful of changes on the Highland Mainline.
Published: by Radio NewsHub
Written by: Radio News Hub