Flurries of snow have fallen over London for a second day after temperatures dropped -9C in Northumberland, with Britain bracing for a so-called ‘Beast from the East II’ that could bring more white stuff on the way today.
The sudden stratospheric warming, or SSW, began on Tuesday and could trigger weather changes that would lead to a severe cold snap in Britain.
Dr Richard Hall, an expert in SSWs from the University of Bristol, said it ‘loads the dice’ or ‘tips the odds’ in favour of another blast of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures from Siberia.
Up to 3cm (1.2in) of snow could fall on high ground, with scenes in London this morning showing just a light dusting settling on the ground.
Britain recorded lows of -12C in Loch Glascarnoch yesterday, with freezing temperatures in London, while Manchester and Cardiff woke up to the mercury dropping to -2C – after dipping to -9C in Northumberland overnight.
Dense fog is lining large parts of the country this morning, including over Bristol, Cheshire and Bolton.
Temperatures have remained in the single digits for most of this week, yesterday the highest recorded temperature was just 6.7C, in Ballywatticock, Northern Ireland.
Snow showers and freezing fog have swept across Scotland as a yellow weather warning covers the country.
Temperatures dropped to -9C in Northumberland, with snow falling at Langley Castle, near Haydon Brige, overnight
Snow fell over South London on Thursday morning, as swathes of England awoke to warnings of ice lasting most of today
Around 11cm of snow fell over parts of Scotland tonight, but locals in West Lanarkshire, including mother and daughter Amanda and Samantha Shaw, remain undettered by the weather
Snow lay on the ground as fog blanketed Tatton Park in Cheshire this morning on a freezing cold morning across Britain
There was plenty of snow to play with for excitable dogs being taken for a walk in Carnwath, Scotland on Thursday morning
Dense fog is lining large parts of the country this morning, including over Bristol (pictured, the Clifton Downs), as well as in Cheshire and Bolton, Greater Manchester
The Met Office has warned of travel disruption as it issued the alert for snow and ice covering almost all of the nation throughout Thursday until midnight.
Snow up to 11cm deep was recorded in the Highlands at Loch Glascarnoch, with temperatures plummeting as low as minus 6.4C at Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway overnight.
Oli Claydon, Met Office forecaster, said: ‘There’s been a fragmented front moving south-eastwards, that’s what’s brought the snow.
‘We then have showers coming in, these showers could even fall as snow – particularly in northern Scotland.’
The snow is widespread across Scotland although areas such as the north east have not seen as much.
Forecasters said much of inland Scotland will be dry for most of the day after the clearance of the rain, sleet and snow on Thursday morning.
Weather warnings for ice and snow cover the UK today (left) with some remaining in place for England and Scotland tomorrow (right)
Snow and ice warnings are in place over Scotland for today and tomorrow, with the white stuff blanketing homes and streets in Biggar last night
Tractors are out clearing roads along the North Pennines in Northumberland, where temperatures dipped to -9C overnight, to ensure buses and other vehicles can travel safely
Manchester woke up to temperatures at -2C this morning, the New Islington Marina in the city centre remaining frosty today
Temperatures have remained in the single digits across Britain this week, reaching highs of just 6.7C yesterday, with large parts of the country covered in snow, including in Northumberland
Swathes of the country woke up to temperatures at around minus two degrees today, but it didn’t stop some from donning their shorts in the brisk South Lanarkshire cold
Snow and freezing fog in South Lanarkshire comes as up to 11cm fell over the Highlands overnight, with temperatures plummeting as low as minus 6.4C at Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway overnight
Heavy snow has settled over the North Pennines, Northumberland, with a cold snap set to bring more of the white stuff today
However, snow showers are then expected in northern Scotland, especially during the afternoon and evening.
A further 2cm to 5cm is likely at low levels with around 10cm above 200 metres.
This week’s cold snap has snow and ice blanket large parts of Scotland – but a group of determined schoolgirls headed out to ensure their community was safe.
Skye, 6, and Amelia-Lily Henry, 8, set out with pals Sophia, 6, and Louisa Byrne, 9, set out in -3C temperatures on on Monday and Tuesday with bags of salt to grit their local street.
Mother Charlotte Fisher, 29, siad: ‘With it being lockdown, I asked my girls if they would like to go out to help with some gritting to stop the elderly from hurting themselves.
‘They loved the idea, it also gave them a bit of exercise as well as helping our community.’
The Met Office has forecast a frosty start to Saturday, with rain and strong winds moving across parts of Scotland.
It will remain rather cold across the country with patchy fog.
Snow covered rooftops and trees have painted a wintry picture in Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, this morning with some heading out to play, despite Scotland’s Covid-19 lockdown
Foggy conditions, like those seen on Rockford Common in New Forest, are expected to last into weekend, but freezing temperatures may ease off, according to the Met Office
Even dogs had to don their coats to brave the cold in Scotland today. Warnings for snow and ice remain in place across the nation for tomorrow, but conditions should ease by Saturday
Despite England’s national lockdown and the frosty start to Thursday, visitors continued to arrive to the New Forest today
Following frost and fog today, Sunday is expected to bring a band of cloud and patchy rain pushing in southeast across Scotland
Visibility has been cut over Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol this morning as dense fog blankets western parts of England
Dog walkers were out on the frosty grounds of the New Forest country Park in Hampshire this morning, despite freezing temperatures across swathes of Britain
Fog has cut visibility on the M5 Worcester, West Midlands where a yellow weather warning for ice is in place throughout today
Walkers braved fog and frost in the New Forest, with the Met Office predicting more cold temperature tomorrow, though it could start to ease off by the weekend
Rockford Common in the New Forest had a frosty and foggy start to Thursday morning as Britain’s cold snap continues
Manchester woke up to temperatures -2C this morning, with fog near Bolton (pictured) as some motorists still braved conditions to go to work during England’s third coronavirus lockdown
There are chance of a second Beast from the East as a major weather event known as a sudden stratospheric warming takes place miles above the earth’s surface. It comes as Bristol saw fog and frost this morning
The Grand Canal in Athy, County Kildare, has frozen this morning, making it possible for mallards to walk across the surface
Snow warnings are only in place for Northern Ireland today, with white scenes south of the border in County Kildare
Forecasters say further rain, sleet and snow falling on frozen surfaces later today and tonight may result in treacherous driving conditions.
The weather warning covers northern and eastern England, most of the Midlands, Wales and the South West. Slightly improved temperatures are predicted next week.
For what follows that, meteorologists are closely monitoring polar weather patterns.
A study by experts at the Universities of Bristol, Exeter and Bath shows how dramatic meteorological changes above the North Pole can have severe consequences for the weather in the UK.
During an SSW the stratosphere – the layer six to 31 miles above the Earth’s surface – can increase in temperature by up to 50C over a matter of days.
This disturbance can travel down through the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface and cause shifts in the jet stream, the fast-moving air currents that cool Europe.
UK experts studied 40 stratospheric warming episodes from the last six decades in the latest study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
Exercise is still permitted under England’s third lockdown rules, but joggers had to brave dense fog in Bristol this morning
It was a frosty start in West Bretton, Wakefield, this morning, as swathes of northern England woke up to a yellow weather warning for ice, which stretches across the west and east coasts
Conditions to bring a second ‘Beast from the East’ could ‘Peter out,’ experts have suggested, but Britain is already experiencing a cold snap, with fog lying over the M5 in Worcester earlier today
Large parts of Britain awoke to temperatures below freezing this morning, with highs only reaching 3C as winter takes hold
The Met Office has issued weather warnings for some snow and widespread icy conditions. Up to 3cm (1.2in) of snow could fall on high ground
Snowfall in London wasn’t quite as impressive this morning as yesterday, with just a few flakes settling over one Londoner’s bins
As fog lined the M5, Britain is bracing for a cold snap that could bring snowy conditions similar to the so-called Beast from the East which caused travel chaos back in 2018
Dr Hall said an SSW happens ‘every two years in three’ and one is ‘taking place at the moment’.
In 2018 there was an SSW event two weeks before the ‘Beast from the East’ brought 50cm (20in) snowfalls.
However Dr Hall said only two thirds of SSWs reach the surface and the current one could ‘just peter out’.
He added: ‘The main area of impact is over Siberia where you get intense cold and that then extends westwards toward Europe.
‘We are right on the edge of this and so slight variations can affect if it reaches us.’