Britain will have its first freezing weekend of the winter with more snow forecast, temperatures dropping to -1C and severe weather warnings for ice and torrential rain in place.
Up to 3cm of snow will cause more dangerous driving conditions across the Midlands and Yorkshire tonight – but a repeat of the chaos caused by widespread snowfall – and reports of ‘thundersnow’ – across the country today is looking unlikely.
Most of the UK is expected to be below zero tonight with freezing rain, fog and ice likely to make many roads in the south of England dangerous tomorrow. In some areas temperatures will not be any higher than -1C.
The Met Office has said there is a yellow warning for ice in place covering south east England from 9pm this evening until 10am tomorrow where freezing temperatures overnight could lead to icy patches on untreated surfaces. Rain is expected across Kent and the far east of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk which may lead to more widespread ice in these areas.
A yellow national severe weather warning for rain is in place until 6am tomorrow morning covering parts of eastern Scotland where there could be some heavy rain at times with 20 to 40 mm of rain falling quite widely.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Neil Armstrong said after a wet and cold day across the UK today: ‘There will be further rain at times tonight with sleet or wet snow still possible over hills’.
The UK was blanketed with snow today as winter arrived in earnest – sparking travel chaos in some parts of the country Motorists were left having to dig their cars out of the white powder before attempting to embark on journeys on icy roads.
A woman protects her dog against the wind as she walks through the snow Penyfan, in the Brecon Beacons
A car drives through heavy snowfall near Kirklees, West Yorkshire, this afternoon, with more expected in the area tonight
Dave Baptie works hard in the snow at the Hill End Christmas Tree Centre near Edinburgh earlier this afternoon
A dog walker braves the torrential snow coming down at Woolsthorpe Locke, Woolsthorpe, Leicestershire this afternoon
A snow covered field, except a tiny patch of green under a tree, near Ashford in Kent following overnight rain and snow
Residents of Great Gonerby, in Lincolnshire, clear snow from their driveways and pathways this afternoon as winter weather hits
A man works in snowy conditions adjacent to Redbrook Reservoir above the village of Marsden, near Manchester
A dog writhes in the snow near Brun Clough Reservoir as snow falls above the village of Delph, near Manchester
A train passes through Ashford in Kent following overnight rain and snow, which has battered most of the country
Two women has to be helped to safety in Chelmsford, Essex, after their car became stuck in deep floodwater earlier today
A car which has come off the road in icy conditions near Windsor Green, Suffolk, after snowfall for the first time this winter
Several motorists became stranded in floodwater including a taxi driver in Chelmsford after snow melted to cause chaos
This was the scene in Halstead, Essex, this morning after a heavy snowfall last night stunned families in the county
Snow settles in the hills on the outskirts of Bradford, West Yorks, after a deluge of cold weather during the midnight hours
A paperboy battling through the Snow in Colchester, Essex, after the unexpected overnight flurry of snow in the county
One motorist clears heavy overnight snow from a car in Carrshield in the Pennines, near Hexham in Northumberland
Commuters fumed at news that no trains can run between Lewes and Eastbourne due to heavy flooding on the line at Polegate.
Services were not expected to resume till early afternoon as long as there was no more downpours.
Surprised people living in Essex as well as nearby Kent and Suffolk got out of their beds to find polar landscapes out of their windows as the sun rose of their counties.
And many in Edinburgh were already gazing at the icy sights, after being roused from their sleep to loud bangs of as so-called ‘Thundersnow’ in the Scottish city.
The sounds of ‘explosions’ are a rare weather phenomenon, caused by thunder and lightning combined with snow.
Bradford in West Yorkshire also experienced a large amount of snow, which covered much of the city.
The Met Office said this morning wet snow fell across parts of Kent which may spread northwards with some snow over the Wealds and Downs of south-east England.
Rain, sleet and snow is also expected across a broad swathe of Scotland and northern England.
It was the coldest night of autumn/winter so far, with -9.6C (14.72F) recorded at Altnaharra, Sutherland, in the Highlands, according to the Met Office.
Colchester, Essex, blanketed with snow on Friday morning towards the horizon after a night of constant cold weather
Dog walkers negotiate overnight snow in Carrshield in the Pennines, near Hexham in Northumberland after the overnight fall
A frozen pond in the Peak District on Friday morning after the icy temperatures descended on the area overnight
Snow in the Peak District on Friday morning with the picturesque scenes given a layer of snow from the frozen weather
The village of Red Lodge in Suffolk also experienced the icy weather, which covered the streets, houses, cars and gardens
Motorists battling through the Snow in Colchester, Essex, as they attempt to make their way to work through the conditions
Cornard in Suffolk, faced similar wintry conditions with grass and hedges not visible at all through the fallen snow
In Bradford, West Yorkshire, the day began with icy sights stretching as far as the eye could see as temperatures plummeted
Lewis Balog walks with his dog Luna in Queensbury, near Bradford, after the first snow fall of winter hit West Yorkshire
The coldest night of the year is still -10.2C (13.64F) recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire on February 13.
A Met Office weather warning for snow and heavy rain through to Friday at 10am was issued for the east of England plus London and the South East.
It warned of heavy rain and snow that could lead to tricky travel due to surface water and ‘possible slushy accumulations’.
It added: ‘ In a few places 1-2cm of snow could accumulate, mainly on grassy surfaces over the North Downs and Chilterns’
A number of yellow warnings for ice and snow are in place across large areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland and stretch down into North Yorkshire which suggest possible travel disruption.
Snow in parts of Scotland left motorists tackling difficult driving conditions while there were also reports of ‘thundersnow’ in some areas.
Snow settles in the hills on the outskirts of Bradford, West Yorks, as motorists avoid the roads in the treacherous conditions
A car makes its way through snow in Bathgate, West Lothian, in the slippery and snow-filled conditions today
A driver digs his car out of snow in Bathgate, West Lothian, after getting stuck in the white stuff as he tried to travel
A light dusting falls in rural Kent in Hamstreet village near Ashford after warnings the UK could be hit with snow
Snow in Kent has started lightly but the country is braced for heavier falls after meteorologists warned of a cold snap
Snow fell on Wednesday night into Thursday morning in Shotts, a town in North Lanarkshire between Glasgow and Edinburgh
Snow fell early on Thursday morning on a road in Anniesland in the West End of Glasgow, where there was a brief heavy flurry
Snow settled on Wednesday night in Shotts in Scotland, with weather warnings in place for parts of the country on Thursday into Friday
The Queensferry Crossing was closed to vehicles in both directions due to the weather, including falling ice and snow, while in the North East police warned of dangerous driving conditions on the A93 and the B993.
Rail passengers are also affected, with ScotRail warning of ‘significant disruption to services on multiple routes’ due to heavy snow.
Police Scotland Control Rooms said it had received a number of calls from people who were concerned after they heard explosions and strange noises.
Police Scotland Control Rooms tweeted on Friday at about 5am: ‘Please do not be alarmed, we are currently experiencing thunder and lightning.’
Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern described early Friday as being that ‘awkward mixture of cold rain, sleet and falling snow’ for many areas of Britain.
The Met Office said the cold spell is expected to last through to Friday but that the weekend would see brighter weather and even some sunshine.
It added that temperatures going into next week would be lower than the average annual temperature, which is usually about 7C (44.6F) to 9C (48.2F).
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