Britain’s big freeze is set to bring more snow and ice to the country tonight – with wind and rain on the way for a ‘more traditional winter’ later in the week.
Snow, ice and plunging temperatures caused treacherous conditions from Thursday into the weekend across vast swathes of the UK.
With England recording the coldest night of the winter so far on Saturday night, Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said ‘things are gradually getting back to normal’.
But a yellow weather alert is in place across much of Scotland from 9pm on Sunday until 12pm on Monday – with up to 6cm of snow expected on higher ground.
‘Overnight tonight we will see another weather system pushing in from the west and that is going to bring the hill snow to Scotland,’ the forecaster said.
‘Elsewhere it will bring rain and stronger winds across all parts of the UK overnight tonight… tomorrow that gradually clears away to the east, with some decent sunny spells developing.
‘Apart from south-east England, where that lingers for much of the day, with rain gradually turning lighter, but it will remain cloudy.’
A yellow weather alert is in place across much of Scotland from 9pm on Sunday until 12pm on Monday – with up to 6cm of snow expected on higher ground (Pictured, red deer roam near Buachaille Etive Mor, Scotland)
A crashed car lies at the side of the A82 near a road closed for snow sign in Tyndrum, Scotland, on February 3
One of the key roads out of Plymouth which was blocked by parked cars today as people went off to go sledging and play in the snow
Drivers were warned not to travel today because of perilous black ice on British roads – after England had its coldest night of the year on Saturday with temperatures plunging to -12C.
A low of minus 11.7C (10.9F) was recorded at Chillingham Barns in Northumberland in the early hours of this morning, the Met Office said.
Temperatures were even lower in Scotland, with temperatures dipping as low as -16C overnight amid avalanches in the Highlands.
As the country returns to work on Monday, the mercury could rise to 11C in the South West, up to 9C in the South East and Midlands and 6C in Scotland.
‘It is definitely back on track in terms of temperature, where they should be for the time of year, back to a more traditional UK winter for at least a week,’ Mr Partridge said.
‘The rest of the week is just more unsettled weather.’
But the weekend’s chilly conditions provided opportunities for some, with sledgers out in force in the Brecon Beacons and intrepid climbers making their way up a frozen lake in Derbyshire.
Meanwhile, drivers blocked one of the key roads out of Plymouth with parked cars as they left to explore the snowy surrounding countryside.
The chilly weather today provided opportunities plenty of opportunities for fun, with the Neenan family taking the chance to go sledging down the hills of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales
Rory the King Charles Spaniel wears a scarf as he bounds in the snow today on the hills of the Brecon Beacons National Park
After one of the coldest nights of the year, ice climbers make their way up the frozen face of Kinder Downfall waterfall in Derbyshire this morning
Residents of Middleton in Teesdale, County Durham woke up to snowy scenes today after temperatures dipped below freezing overnight
A view from the front seat of an ambulance trying to get from Plymouth from Princetown during a 999 call yesterday, after visitors left their cars blocking the road. Ashley Rawlings waited an hour and a half for the ambulance after hurting his knee
A low of minus 11.7C (10.9F) was recorded at Chillingham Barns in Northumberland in the early hours of this morning, the Met Office said. Pictured: A dog walker this morning in Warley Woods, Birmingham
An intrepid walker admiring the spectacular icicles that had formed over Gibson’s Gave in Barnard Castle, County Durham, this morning
The Nissan car manufacturing plant in Sunderland, which dominates the landscape, as viewed from the Downhill area of the city this morning
Issuing a warning to drivers, Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge told The Telegraph: ‘The main concern is black ice on the roadways, and we simply need time to get to the most at-risk areas.
‘If you can travel later, please do. Today is a Sunday, thankfully, so there are expected to be fewer cars on the roads.’
Drivers face a heightened risk as grit cannot prevent water freezing at temperatures below -5C, according to the Department for Transport.
Some roads were also left blocked when around 200 trees collapsed under the weight of the snow.
Meanwhile, a dog walker risked her life in Virginia Water, Surrey, by leaping into a freezing lake after her pet got stuck in the ice. They both survived.
Double-digit lows were recorded on the east coast at Redesdale, where the mercury sank to minus 10.4C (13.3F), and at Leeming in north Yorkshire where a low of minus 10.8C (12.6F) was observed.
While it was the coldest night of the year so far in England it was not as cold as parts of Scotland, where temperatures fell as far as minus 12.6C (9.3F) at Braemar in the Highlands.
Snow carpets the slopes of the Pennine Hills near Manchester today in this image taken from a passenger aeroplane
Tree surgeons remain clearing a road in Walderslade, Kent, which has been closed since Friday night after 200 trees were toppled by heavy snowfall
A woman clears her car of snow and ice in Walderslade as the snow caused tricky travel conditions on Britain’s roads
Elsewhere early this morning, Bala in Gwynedd and Llysdinam in Powys were the coldest spots in Wales, with minus 7.5C (18.5) recorded at both places.
The lowest overnight temperature in Northern Ireland was seen late on Saturday night, when minus 7C (19.4F) was recorded at Katesbridge, Co Down, at around 11.40pm.
Forecasters had spoken of the potential for temperatures to fall far enough for the UK to see the coldest night in nearly a decade, although the early arrival of cloud kept minimums slightly higher than expected.
Nevertheless, two weather warnings were in place this morning.
One yellow warning of hill snow and ice for a swathe of western Scotland reaching from Inverness in the north to the outskirts of Glasgow in the south ran until 11am.
Another yellow warning of icy stretches in parts of southern England and East Anglia was in place until the same time.
Later on a further yellow warning of hill snow and ice for central and southern Scotland will kick in at midnight and run until 2pm on Monday.
Respite from the bitter weather that brought severe travel disruption to large parts of the country during the week is on the way.
Yellow Met Office weather warnings for snow and ice were in place for many parts of the UK today (left). There is also one tomorrow for Scotland (right)
People gather at the base of the slopes in the hills of the Brecon Beacons National Park today to sledge down the snow-covered hills
The sledging was very much a family affair, with people of all ages making the most of the snowy winter conditions
Theo Williams, 10, from Swansea, sledges down the hills of the Brecon Beacons National Park this afternoon
Father and son David and William Jenkins, three, from Cardiff, (left) were among those enjoying the weather in the Brecon Beacons
A drone photo of the hills near Lambourn, Berkshire, where a dusting of snow remained on the ground into the afternoon
Tree surgeons remain clearing a road in Walderslade, Kent, which has been closed since Friday night dozens of trees toppled over
A workman inspects the mass of fallen trees that completely blocked the road in Walderslade, Kent, this morning
This cyclist in Walderslade also found his journey interrupted, as he was forced to carry his bike through the snow
A climber on Kinder Downfall in the Derbyshire Peak District. The site is normally a 30-yard high waterfall but was frozen this morning
Dog walkers enjoy a crisp frosty morning today at Warley woods in Birmingham today. Drivers are being warned to take care on icy roads or ideally wait until later to travel
A light layer of frost covers the grass at Warley Woods as the sun rises after the coldest night of the year
Dog walkers were well dressed for the chilly conditions in Warley Woods today. Temperatures are expected to rise next week
A dog bounds across the frosty grass as the sun rises at Warley Woods, a historic area of parkland and woodland
Swans and ducks standing on the ice after the water froze over on the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal this morning
While some of the ducklings managed to find gaps in the ice others had to make do with standing on the frozen surface
Darren Soden had to clear ice from around his boat from setting off on the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal today
Met Office forecaster Mr Partridge said: ‘Things are picking up now as we start to see milder air push in from the south-west through today.
‘In south-west England we could see plus 10 (50F), while more broadly across England it could be six (42.8F) or seven (44.6F) degrees.
‘Generally we are heading back to normal temperatures for this time of year this week – with a normal British winter situation, so it will be wetter and windier.’
Woman ‘seriously injured’ after black ice road skid
A motorist has suffered serious injuries after her car skidded on black ice and crashed into a coach.
The woman was driving a blue Nissan Micra along the A35 near Dorchester, Dorset, when she lost control of the car.
It collided with a coach travelling in the same direction and the impact led to the woman to become trapped in her vehicle.
She was cut free by firefighters and rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
The eastbound dual carriageway of the A35 remained closed for two hours while the emergency services dealt with the incident at 10.30 am yesterday (Sat).
The road was gritted before it was reopened.
Dorset police have been unable to confirm the age of the casualty, any details of the coach involved or whether there were any passengers on the coach at the time.
Meanwhile, with the arrival of heavy snow new avalanches have been recorded in Scotland’s mountains.
The country’s vital winter avalanche service for walkers and climbers has now logged its 19th snow slide this season.
Four avalanches have been recorded in the last 48 hours alone.
Recorders also captured some early spectacularly pictures of winter in the hills.
The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) said 20 people in total were caught up in human-triggered snow slides during its 2017/18 season.
Some walkers and climbers came close to white death on Scotland’s mountains last winter, according to its report.
They had ‘very lucky escapes’ after being caught in avalanches.
The service recorded 261 avalanches during its 2017/18 season.
Of this number, 230 were natural and/or cornice triggered. Cornices are large overhanging ledges of snow.
Thirty avalanches were triggered by people who were walking, skiing or climbing in the mountains.
There were no fatalities due to avalanche activity recorded during the season, SAIS said.
But it added: ‘Some avalanche occurrences were minor, in that small releases occurred, but others were more significant and resulted in people being carried down by the avalanche, some with very lucky escapes.’
Every winter, SAIS assesses avalanche hazards and provides daily information on the stability of snowpack in the six mountain areas.
The areas are Lochaber, Glen Coe, Creag Meagaidh, Southern Cairngorms, Northern Cairngorms and Torridon.
Hillwalkers, climbers and skiers use the information to help them plan trips.
Today Northern Cairngorms had a ‘considerable’ risk of an avalanche.
A bird flies yards above the head of a stag in a wintery scene from Richmond Park in south-west London this morning
A zoomed in image of the moment. The royal park is a favourite spot for photographers near the heart of the UK capital
The combination of slanting rays of sunlight and the stag’s breath on the chill morning air made for spectacular scenes in the park
Deer huddle in the long grass near two stags bearing their antlers in Richmond Park, a former royal hunting ground
Runners were not put off by the chilly temperatures in Richmond Park. Pictured in the distance is Roehampton’s Alton Estate
England suffered its coldest night of the winter yesterday. Pictured is a view of Castlerigg stone circle in Cumbria, where people gathered for a star-gazing festival last night
The sun could be seen peaking over the top of some of central London’s tallest buildings in this image taken from Primrose Hill this morning