Britain has seen one of the coldest nights of the year as parts of the country brace for heavy snow and 70mph winds today.
Temperatures dropped to -12.3C (9.8F) at Loch Glascarnoch in the Scottish Highlands overnight while most parts of the UK dipped below freezing, leaving widespread ice a potential hazard as the country gets moving.
Forecasters have warned of ‘nasty’ travel conditions and potential power outages as the day progresses and a band of ‘severe’ weather sweeps in from the east.
Parts of northern England are braced for heavy snow on Friday, while swathes of the country have been warned of a risk of ice and wintry showers.
Glasgow Airport said the snow had caused operations to be ‘temporarily suspended’.
It added: ‘Our winter operations teams are working to reopen as soon as possible. We advise passengers to check with their airline for updates and apologise for any disruption.’
Wintry weather made driving conditions treacherous on the roads (pictured: Junction 22 of the M62 at Saddleworth)
Heavy snow showers hit the A66 this morning, making driving conditions tricky for motorists this morning
A car is left in a ditch having left the icy A66 near Brough, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, earlier today
There were treacherous conditions on the roads this morning as snow made driving conditions difficult (pictured: Junction 22 of the M62)
The streets of Sheffield are blanketed in snow as Britain is braced for more ‘severe’ weather sweeping in from the east
A wider yellow warning for snow is also in place for Northern Ireland, the northern half of England and southern Scotland (pictured: snow in Sheffield)
There was thunder and lightning, as well as ‘giant’ hailstones in parts of the country yesterday (pictured: Devonport, in Plymouth)
Parts of northern England are braced for heavy snow on Friday, with a further band of ‘severe’ weather en route
An amber warning of snow in West Yorkshire, the South Pennines and places such as Rochdale and Burnley is in place until 11am and a wider yellow warning for snow has been issued for southern and eastern Scotland, northern England and the Midlands until 3pm.
The heaviest snowfall of 5cm-10cm in expected in parts of northern England and up to 15cm over higher ground.
Meanwhile there are yellow warnings for ice across London and the South East, the Midlands and parts of Wales and the North West of England, as well as for the far north of Scotland including Orkney and Shetland.
And a yellow warning has been issued for strong winds expected over parts of south-west England and southern Wales across to Greater London, bringing ‘potent, heavy showers with a chance of hail and thunder’ as the system moves eastwards.
A camel stands in the snow on a farm near Richmond, North Yorkshire, after a bitterly cold night in Britain
‘Gusts of 45 to 50 mph are likely quite widely in and near these showers, with 60mph gusts in places and close to 70mph at times in the most exposed coastal locations,’ the Met Office said.
Met Office forecaster Charles Powell said there could be some ‘pretty nasty travel conditions’.
‘It is a band of severe weather. Weather warnings are in force. There is going to be disruption in some shape or form,’ he said.
Forecasters say the weekend will bring a respite from the wintry blast, with milder conditions expected. But New Year’s Eve celebrations on Sunday could be blighted by strong winds and showers.
A dog walker was spotted taking his two pets out for a walk on Thursday morning in the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire as snow continued to cover parts of the country
Deer lock antlers in a frosty Richmond Park on Thursday morning as Britain shivers in icy cold temperatures
People were seen taking a dog out for a walk through the snowy fields in Hatfield Forest in Essex on Thursday afternoon
Youngster Alexander Constable, 12, from Holland, took advantage of the snowy conditions and was pictured sledging on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire on Thursday
Snow covered headstones in a graveyard in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, on December 28 as a cold spell has hit Britain
Highways England has issued a severe weather warning and urged people to plan their journeys, monitor weather reports and pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel if they really need to travel.
People travelling north for three days of Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh, which welcomes about 100,000 people visiting to see in the new year, will face ‘impossible’ conditions in some areas, the RAC said.
The RAC said it expects to attend ‘in the region of one breakdown every 10 seconds through the course of Friday’.
The organisation’s traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘Some northern regions are set to see further snowfall in the early hours, making driving conditions very difficult if not impossible where the heaviest snowfall occurs.
‘Drivers in the areas likely to be affected should consider delaying their journeys if they are not absolutely essential, as some disruption is likely.’