Weather: Temperatures -14°C with snow and ice warnings
- Written by Harrison Jones and Andre Roden-Paul
- BBC News
Temperatures fell to -14°C (6.8°F) overnight as waves of arctic air continued to move across the UK.
The Met Office said Tuesday evening was the coldest January night since 2019.
Bitter conditions and heavy snowfall forced schools to close in Scotland and northern England on Tuesday amid yellow warnings for ice and snow in all four UK nations.
Meteorologists say Wednesday night could see the coldest January temperature in 14 years.
The Met Office said that by the end of Friday, more than 40cm of snow is likely to be seen on higher ground in northwest Scotland, as wintry weather continues.
Snow, sleet and rain are expected to continue to blanket northern parts of the UK, although there will be some sunshine.
Severe frost and freezing conditions are likely across almost all parts of the country, with experts warning of treacherous sidewalks and roads.
The lowest temperature of -14°C provisionally recorded by the Met Office was seen at Dalwynny in the Scottish Highlands.
Overnight temperatures in snow-covered parts of Scotland could drop to minus 15C, making it the coldest January night since 2010, the Met Office said on Tuesday.
Liam Eslake, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “This remains one of the coldest January nights in the last five years.”
“Even though we didn’t reach the lowest temperature overnight, it’s possible we could see that again tonight. So it’s definitely still going to be the case over the next day or so.”
The lowest temperature so far this winter was -12.5°C, at Altnahara, in early December. In January 2010, -22.3°C was recorded in the same Scottish Highlands village.
Temperatures in most parts of Scotland are expected to remain at or below freezing throughout the day on Wednesday.
The UK’s Health Security Agency issued a cold weather warning for England this week, meaning the NHS is expected to come under additional pressure and that older people may be more at risk.
Icy winds blowing from the Arctic this week have left temperatures 5 to 6 degrees Celsius lower than average for this time of year.
The Met Office has issued three yellow weather warnings for Wednesday. they:
- Snow and ice warning for Northern Ireland and northern Scotland until 23:59 GMT on Wednesday
- Ice warning for southern Scotland until 12:00 noon Wednesday
- Snow and ice warning for northern England and north Wales until 12:00 noon Wednesday
On Thursday, two more yellow snow and ice warnings covered most of the same areas, except for some eastern parts of England, Scotland and southern parts of Northern Ireland.
The United Kingdom is preparing for sub-zero temperatures until the end of the week, as Tuesday will see the closure of more than 100 schools in Scotland and dozens of schools on Merseyside.
Northern and eastern parts of Scotland saw “the bulk of the snow” on Monday, with up to 15cm on the ground at Aberdeen Airport.
Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page has warned of drift or blizzard conditions.
South of the border, Liverpool Council said conditions had a “widespread impact” on Tuesday, with staff deployed to clear snow around schools, hospitals and transport hubs.
How to drive in snow and ice and the best way to defrost a car
On trains, the national railway company warned of the possibility of network outages throughout the week.
The cold snap has led to automatic £25 payments to households receiving certain benefits being triggered in more than 220 postcodes where temperatures are expected to be below zero for an entire week.
Help with heating costs for eligible households also applies in some parts of Wales and the north and east of England.
Looking ahead to Friday and beyond, BBC meteorologist Chris Fox said: “Snow in Scotland will start to fall on the hills as temperatures start to rise strangely.
“For those who don’t like cold weather, there will be a big change this weekend as the weather becomes milder.”
He continued: “This change will be accompanied by very strong and possibly disruptive winds, and periods of heavy rain will also return.”
“The floods we saw at the start of the year may seem like a long time ago to many, but with the ground still saturated, we have to be wary of the risk of flooding that any heavy rain may bring.”
As of 05:00 on Wednesday, there were also 20 flood warnings – meaning flooding is likely – and 65 flood alerts – meaning flooding is likely – in England.
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