The freezing weather which has brought winter wonderland scenes to parts of the UK and reduced overnight temperatures to nearly minus 10C is set to continue into the weekend.
Many areas of the north of England and Scotland woke to wintry conditions on Friday morning as sleet and snow showers continued through Thursday night.
The Met Office said the lowest temperatures on Thursday night were recorded at minus 9.4C at Shap in Cumbria but the London area was also froze overnight, with minus 3.4C recorded at Teddington in Middlesex and the temperatures at Kew Gardens dropping to minus 2.2C.
Most of the snow and sleet showers were confined to the coastal areas of eastern England by Friday afternoon, with large parts of the UK experiencing crisp, cold, sunny weather after some early fog.
But temperatures were not expected to climb much above zero for much of Friday across the country.
Forecasters said Friday night is set to be another extremely cold one with freezing weather continuing into Saturday, bringing more fog in places.
❄️ Thursday was a cold day and night across the UK
🌡️ Okehampton, Devon, recorded a maximum temperature of -0.3 °C
🌡️ Shap, Cumbria, recorded a minimum temperature of -9.4 °C, the coldest night since 15th March 2023 pic.twitter.com/CeTyBOZEqH
— Met Office (@metoffice) December 1, 2023
They said a low pressure system moving in from the south-west on Saturday evening could bring some more snow flurries on higher ground, but Sunday will see temperatures rise slightly across many parts of the south of England.
Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said: “Last night was a cold night across the country with a widespread frost as temperatures fell well below freezing for most.
“The lowest temperature recorded in the UK overnight was minus 9.4C at Shap in Cumbria. The London area also saw a cold night with Teddington in Middlesex down to minus 3.4C, Northolt minus 2.3C and Kew Gardens minus 2.2C.”
“Colder conditions are now covering all areas of the UK and we will see little change as we go into the weekend.
“Daytime temperatures will be rooted in single figures and overnight temperatures falling well below freezing in many places.
“We will continue to see wintry showers at times and where these showers fall as rain there is a risk of icy patches forming.”
A yellow weather warning for snow and ice has been issued for overnight Friday to Saturday, covering the whole of the east coast of the England, from Northumberland to Kent, as well as the south-west and far north of Scotland.
The wintry bursts caused traffic problems in some areas, with North Yorkshire Police reporting 100 cars stuck on the A171, between Whitby and Scarborough, on Thursday evening, and the force warning against travel on the A169 across the moors due to snow and ice.
Snow showers continued into Friday with reports of traffic affected on the A64 Scarborough to York route.
The frosty weather led to school closures in a number of areas, including in County Durham, where around 20 were shut on Friday, citing dangerous road conditions and difficulties with staff getting on site.
Dozens of schools closed in Cornwall on Thursday with many opening late on Friday as the freezing conditions continued.
The UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office have issued amber cold health alerts in five regions: the East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber until December 5, meaning “cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for an extended period of time”.