Britain suffered its coldest February night for more than six decades as temperatures plunged as low as -23C.
The mercury dropped to minus 23C (minus 9.2F) in Braemar, Aberdeenshire at 8.13am today – the coldest February night across the UK since February 23, 1955, the Met Office confirmed.
In the Capital, temperatures dropped to -5.2C in Northolt, west London, -3.8C at Heathrow, and -1.8C in St James’s Park in central London.
Scotland saw the coldest overnight temperatures overall, with -13C recorded in Edinburgh and -21.2C at Kinbrace.
Across the rest of the UK, Sheffield dipped to -5.1C and it was -6.6C in Nottingham, -7.4C in Durham, and -5.5C in Sennybridge, Wales.
Showers and some sunshine is forecast for large swathes of the UK over the rest of the day throughout today.
Yellow weather warnings for areas where wintry weather could cause travel disruption have been issued for the morning, covering the eastern half of Scotland and England, Devon, and south-west Wales.
Marcin Jedrysiak from Portsmouth with a pair of his trousers which froze solid in his garden last night
Great Yarmouth’s Britannia Pier is covered in snow after days of storms in the Norfolk town
Incredible ice formations on a roadside near Sandridge, Hertfordshire this morning
Hardy swimmers were out in force at the Serpentine in London this morning, in spite of the chill
The mercury dropped to minus 23C (minus 9.2F) in Braemar (pictured), Aberdeenshire at 8.13am today
Icicles at Summerhill Force and Gibson’s Cave in Teesdale after temperatures plunged to below minus 22C overnight
Last night was the coldest February night across the UK since 23rd February 1955 – including the infamous winter of 1962/1963. The temperature in Braemar (pictured today) fell to minus 23C at 8.13 this morning
A frozen Rivelin Lower Reservoir in Sheffield. Scattered snow showers and some sunshine is forecast for large swathes of the UK over the rest of the day today
Braemar, Scotland. Yellow weather warnings for areas where wintry weather could cause travel disruption have been issued today, covering the eastern half of Scotland
Lady the dog in the snow in Braemar, Scotland, where the temperature has now fallen to -23C
Eight-year-old Austin Allan and his brother Alfie, 11, in their 10ft igloo which took them and friends two days to complete in Kirkliston, West Lothian
Swimmers braved the freezing conditions in the sea at Southsea in Hampshire this morning, following the coldest night in Britain for more than two decades
The moat has frozen over outside Leeds Castle in Kent, as the mercury dipped to -7C last night
A man and his miniature schnauzer test the frozen Rushmere Pond at Wimbledon Common in south London
An early morning paper delivery through the snow in Kirkliston, West Lothian today
A man clears snow from his car after an overnight deposit of fresh snow in the town of Gravesend in Kent
The frozen canal with narrow boats in Little Venice, London – where temperatures dropped to around -4C overnight
Temperatures drop below freezing across the UK overnight
The Met Office recorded the following temperatures across the UK last night:
Braemer, Aberdeenshire -23C
St James’s Park -1.8C
Sennybridge, Wales -5.5C
And this is the snowfall today at 7am:
33cm at Aboyne, Aberdeenshire
19cm at Andrew’s Field, Essex
16cm at Watersham, Suffolk
As the snow clears towards the east through the morning, it could become ‘quite pleasant outside with the sunshine, although still bitterly cold’ in western areas, according to Met Office meteorologist Clare Nasir.
The latest plunge in temperatures comes after Tuesday night, when minus 17.1C (1.2F) was recorded in the Scottish Highlands.
That marked the coldest temperature recorded in the UK since January 2010, when the mercury dropped to minus 22.3C (minus 8.1F) at Altnaharra in the Highlands.
In December 1995, the temperature plunged to -27.2C in Braemar.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: ‘The temperature is down to -23C.
‘Previously the lowest recorded was -23.2C on December 30, 1995. The lowest on record was -27.2C, on January 10 1982, also in Braemar.
‘It is in the Cairngorms which is mountainous so elevation contributes, it is not a temperature you would see in urban areas.’
Cities such as Manchester and Carlisle may drop to minus 4C (24.8F) on Thursday, and York is expected to have lows of minus 6C (21.2F).
Banks of snow were said to be 70cm tall in some areas of Scotland, or waist-deep.
The deepest snow recorded in Scotland for this month dates back to February 17, 1963, where an incredible 91cm fell in Whitchester in Berwick.
Simon Blackett, 66, said: ‘I am 6ft7in and the snow is above my knees.
‘Imagine what it’s like for a normal-sized person – certainly up to the waist.’
Nine flood warnings, where flooding is likely, and 88 flood alerts, indicating that flooding is possible, have also been issued for locations across England by the Environment Agency, but none were in place for the other UK nations on Wednesday night.
The forecast prompted responses from local councils in England, with residents warned to take ‘extra care’ while the cold snap lasts.
Ms Nasir said that on Friday and over the weekend the weather is expected to turn ‘quite hazardous’ as ‘an area of cloud and rain’ coupled with extremely cold air brings further risk of snow, and ‘perhaps even of freezing rain’.
Further wintry weather forecast for Saturday is set to hit areas which have so far escaped heavy snowfall.
Wintry conditions are predicted anywhere from the Cotswolds northwards, extending through Wales, North-West England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Forecasters say 5-10cms (2-4ins) of snow could fall on high ground, with a maximum of 15cm (6ins) in isolated areas.
At lower levels, snowfall is also set to be ‘widespread’ but limited to 1-4cms (0.4-1.6ins).
In a weather warning, the Met Office said: ‘Snow is likely to spread east during Saturday with some accumulations in places and icy stretches of roads and pavements.’
Weather warnings issued for snow and ice
The Met Office has issued a number of yellow weather warnings for snow and ice, until lunchtime tomorrow, across;
Central, Tayside & Fife
Highlands & Eilean Siar
North East England
Orkney & Shetland
SW Scotland, Lothian Borders
Yorkshire & Humber
South West England
Forecasters warn the snow could temporarily cut off some isolated rural communities and cause power cuts, as well as transport disruption.
The snow is due to turn to rain later in the day as milder air sweeps in behind.
By Sunday, temperatures could reach 10C (50F) in south western areas of Britain and 5C (41F) as far north as Manchester.
Further snow is expected near the coasts of Scotland, North East England and Yorkshire through today and tomorrow, with 3-8cms (1.2-3.2ins) possible.
Separately, up to 3cm (1.2ins) of snow could fall on the moors of Devon, Cornwall and Pembrokeshire through tonight into tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile thieves suspected of removing metal from the roof of a building could not get away because their van got stuck in the ice.
They were seen behaving suspiciously on top of a building in Ramsgate, Kent in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
An abandoned van was discovered nearby in Chatham Place by officers who attended the scene.
Copper and lead pipes were recovered from the vehicle and three men were arrested.
The loaded van had been unable to move due to the icy conditions, giving the thieves no choice but to abandon it.
Temperature had fallen below zero after Storm Darcy brought heavy snowfall and gale force winds to the UK.
Scraps of copper can be sold for between £3.70 and £4.30 a kilo, while lead is cheaper, selling for between £0.70 to £1.20.
A 43-year-old from Broadstairs, a 33-year-old Londoner and 21-year-old of no fixed address have been released on bail until 4 March while enquiries are ongoing.
The Centrepoint charity for homeless youth has urged people to contact them or Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 if they see people living out in the cold.
Charities have also advised offering anyone sleeping rough a hot drink, meal, blankets or clothing.
The NHS said that despite tough conditions many vaccination centres had remained open, and any missed appointments would be rescheduled.
Several councils in England, including Rugby Borough Council and Southwark Council, in London, were forced to briefly suspend waste collection services due to the weather conditions.
Thurrock Council, in Essex, said more than 100 workers, mostly from street cleaning and waste collection teams, were diverted from regular duties to help clear snow from footpaths and routes to medical centres.
A woman walks past a Tea Shop with icicles hanging from the roof in Braemar, Scotland
Ice formations on a roadside near Sandridge in Hertfordshire as temperatures remain freezing today
After Storm Darcy snow come the big freeze – which has brought stunning ice structures to the Derbyshire Peak District
The fountains at Trafalgar Square remain frozen over, as Londoners woke up to a bright and sunny, if cold, start today
Sledgers and skiers make their way to the top of the Town Moor – a popular attraction in Newcastle
Workmen clear snow in Braemar, Scotland – with more snow flurries expected on the way today
Frost can be seen over the River Thames at Lechlade on Thames, Gloucestershire this morning
Birds stand on a frozen Rushmere Pond at Wimbledon Common, south London, this morning
Ann Hay from Arbroath, Angus, spent three hours in the freezing cold yesterday building a 12ft long, blue dinosaur out of snow for her grandchildren. The 62-year-old used old food colouring to make her frosty Diplodocus green
Sea on the sand at Crosby Beach. People were left feeling intrigued by the weather wonder, which some described as looking ‘like an art installation’
There was a pretty wintry scene at the River Almond in Kirkliston, West Lothian in Scotland this morning
The mercury dropped to minus 22.9C (minus 9.2F) in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, the coldest February temperature recorded in the UK since 1995
Fresh snow at Loch Glascarnoch in Scotland where temperatures are likely to dip to around minus 11C today
A man slips on the snow covered path in Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch in Essex
Two hardy swimmers made their way along the river Itchen near to Twyford in Hampshire
Snow in Braemar, Scotland, where the temperature has now fallen to -23°C according to the Met Office
A swimmer braves the freezing temperature to take a dip in the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park in London
Great first home with room to extend but it’s showing signs of damp: Estate agents put igloo on the market for £250,000 – and have five viewing requests
This chilly one bedroom house in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex was put on the market by local estate agents Palmer & Partners
A handmade igloo has been put up ‘for sale’ by estate agents – for an ice cool £250,000.
The chilly one bedroom house in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex was put on the market by local estate agents Palmer & Partners as a joke on Tuesday evening.
The 6ft detached snow sculpture was built by bricklayer Robert East, 30, who constructed the chalet so his children Freya, nine, Henry, seven, and Harry, two, had a base while playing on Rush Green field- a local playing field.
Robert spent five hours laboriously constructing mega concrete block alternatives by filling a recycling box with snow. He added a roof by putting a fence panel on top and covering it with the white stuff.
He said: ‘I’m a bricklayer by trade. And I take great pride in what I do. We don’t often get snow around here so I thought I’d make the most of it.
‘The kids were sledging around as I was building it. The whole thing took the best part of five hours but it was worth it to see the smiles on their faces. They absolutely loved it and were playing in it while laughing loads.
‘I’ve heard lots of other kids have been enjoying it since too. My mate said he wanted to use it on the estate agents’ social media for a bit of fun and I said of course if it’s going to make people smile. But I hope I get commission if it sells.’
The single storey offering, advertised as a great first home with room to extend, even comes with an en-suite bathroom.
The description of the property on fictional North Pole Road reads: ‘Be quick! This won’t be for sale long. A great chance to purchase this wonderful igloo built by a local family.
‘This property is showing signs of damp so any potential buyer must have a survey before agreeing to buy. Viewing is available now and we have keys to view.’
Brady Rackham, 32, a partner at Palmers and Partners estate agents, was instantly bombarded with viewing requests.
The listing went up on Tuesday night and five people had already requested to ‘view’ it by the morning.
Mr Rackham said: ‘It was only a bit of a joke so we’re keeping it up on our website for now. The response has been so funny. I didn’t think we’d actually get any interest in it.
‘We thought we’d have a bit of fun with it by saying it won’t be around for long before it melts and people seem to have rushed to enquire. The valuation of £250,000 is about right for a one bed in Clacton so it won’t be long before it sells.’
Heavy snow in Gravesend, Kent overnight. As the snow clears towards the east through the morning, it could become ‘quite pleasant outside with the sunshine, although still bitterly cold’ in western areas, according to the Met Office
A stricken lorry driver lost control on the A299 Thanet Way in Kent yesterday evening
Commuters wrapped up against the biting cold in London Bridge as they headed to work this morning
The water features and statues at London’s Trafalgar Square are frozen over this morning following last night’s dramatic temperature drop
Horses stand in a frozen field near to Dogmersfield in Hampshire as the cold snap continues to grip the nation
The Met Office gave updates as the temperatures got colder overnight in Scotland – with more snow on the way today
As Kent was battered by snow again, many lorries got caught out on the icy roads – forcing Kent Police to close the A249, a major route from the M20 linking the M2