UK sees coldest January night since 2019 as temperatures set to plummet further

Freezing temperatures and snow will continue for much of Britain this week

It was the coldest January night since 2019 on Tuesday as temperatures dropped to minus 14C in parts of Britain - and it is only going to get colder.

Forecasters had predicted some snow-covered parts of Scotland could reach minus 15C overnight, which would have been the coldest January night for 14 years, when minus 22.3C was recorded in 2010.

The Met Office has issued amber warnings for snow between 3pm on Wednesday and 6pm on Thursday in north-west Scotland and the Northern Isles, meaning road delays are likely and some vehicles could be stranded.

Some areas could see an extra 15 to 20cm of snow, meaning power cuts are likely and more remote communities are at risk of being cut off, the forecaster said.

Cockapoos Luna and Daisy play in the snow during a walk at Sixmilewater Park in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland Credit: left

Freezing temperatures and snow will continue for much of Britain this week because of cold Arctic air before “potentially disruptive” stormy weather lands over the weekend.

A “cold plunge of Arctic air” has moved south across the whole country over the past few days, making it 5C to 6C lower than usual for this time of year, the Met Office said.

A Met Office spokeswoman said the low temperatures are also due to how long the cold snap has lasted.

She said: “It’s due to the prolonged nature of this cold spell, it will have been lasting for quite a few days.

“A build up of snow, as well, just allows for the temperatures to get colder and colder and we don’t often see a cold spell last three to five days.

“The air is coming directly from the Arctic, so it is exceptionally cold air.

Snow continues to affect schools and travel across large parts of the country Credit: PA

Yellow weather warnings for snow and ice remain in place across Scotland, much of northern England and parts of North Wales until Thursday, then more mild temperatures are forecast along with wind and rain.

Thousands of households are eligible for cold weather payments, which help vulnerable people pay for heating when the temperature dips, the government said.

Payments go to those living in areas where the average temperature is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0C or below over seven consecutive days - these are Cumbria, Oxfordshire, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Norfolk, Staffordshire and Powys in Wales.

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a cold-health alert, which warns of possible impacts for the health and social care sector.

More than 100 schools were closed in Scotland on Tuesday, while drivers faced difficult conditions thanks to the wintry weather across north-west England, including in Merseyside, Cheshire and Cumbria.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...