TWO more days of heavy snow is set to spark power cuts and travel chaos after the UK’s coldest night in 25 years.
The “extreme freeze” saw temperatures plummet all over the country, with a chilling -23C recorded in Braemar, Scotland, in the early hours of yesterday.
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Frozen icicles hang from a tunnel in Chee Dale, DerbyshireCredit: Rachel Rennie/Triangle News
Two girls have fun sledging in the snow in Cleadon, TynesideCredit: North News and Pictures
One swimmer braves the water in Southend-on-Sea, EssexCredit: Getty Images – Getty
It was the coldest temperature recorded in the UK since the -27C which hit Altnaharra in Scotland in December 1995.
Fifteen weather stations recorded their lowest temperatures ever for February.
The mercury also registered freezing temperatures in the Scottish Highlands, with -21.3C in Kinbrace and -18.2 in Strathallan.
The lowest temperature recorded in England and Wales was at Ravensworth, in north Yorkshire, which dropped to -13.1C.
Temperatures were warmer, but remained well below freezing overnight with -10C chills recorded in some areas.
Met Office weather warnings for snow and ice remain in place for today and Saturday.
There is also a chance that other services – such as mobile phone coverage – may be disrupted, forecasters said.
With four different yellow warnings for snow and ice across the country, roads and railways could be affected, with journeys taking longer than usual.
There is also a risk that “some rural communities could become cut off”, the Met Office warned.
Oli Claydon, a spokesman for the Met Office, said that some of the records in temperatures had been broken by “quite some way”.
He added: “Usually you’d expect records to be broken by point such-and-such of a degree but here we’re looking at big differences.”
A man braves the cold after going for a swim at Chalkwell beach in Southend on SeaCredit: Getty Images – Getty
A swimmer braves the freezing conditions at Southsea in HampshireCredit: Solent News
A man goes for a run in Epping Forest, LondonCredit: PA:Press Association
Enormous icicles formed on trees near Leeds Bradford AirportCredit: North News and Pictures
The previous lowest temperature recorded at Strathallan was -13.8C – a difference of 4.4 degrees.
Chillingham Barns in Northumberland dropped to -12C and Shap in Cumbria recorded a low of -11.6C.
The joint record for the lowest temperature ever recorded in the UK is held by Braemar and Altnaharra, in the Scottish Highlands, which have recorded -27.2C on three separate occasions.
A video taken in the village of Boat of Garten, near to Braemar, showed a cup of hot water instantly turning to ice when thrown into the air.
A picture posted by Scot Rail showed large blocks of ice that had formed underneath one of its high-speed trains.
“We’ll use enormous heaters to melt the ice, but it can take hours,” the company tweeted.
A low of -23C was recorded yesterday in the Scottish Highlands by the Met Office. Pictured: BraemarCredit: Getty Images – Getty
There are four yellow warnings for snow and ice across the UKCredit: Met Office
Two children built an igloo in Kirkliston, West LothianCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
A resident clears the road in front of his house in Ballater, Aberdeenshire
Scattered yellow weather warnings remain in place for parts of Scotland and northern England until Saturday.
Mr Claydon continued: “There’s still a couple of days of cold conditions to get through and a little bit more snow in parts of Scotland but the trend is that the weekend is going to herald a change to milder conditions.”
He warned that there was still a chance of freezing rain on Sunday and said the Met Office may issue a warning for ice, which would bring “significant hazards”.
It comes after councils across England urged people to take “extra care” in the dangerous conditions and several were forced to briefly suspend waste collection services.
Conservative MP Jeremy Hunt, took part in a House of Commons debate wearing a sling, hours after breaking his arm whilst jogging.
The chairman of the Health and Social Care Committee told MPs he had spent the morning at the Royal Surrey County Hospital after slipping in the icy conditions.
Health chiefs have also issued a cold weather alert for the whole of Britain, saying the chill could have “a serious impact on health”.
Dr Owen Landeg, Group Leader, Extreme Events and Health Protection at Public Health England, warned: “Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with heart and lung problems, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.
“So it’s really important during this particularly cold period, to keep checking on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses.”
The NHS said that, despite the tough conditions, many vaccination centres have remained open, and any missed appointments will be rescheduled.
Temperatures in Braemar, Aberdeenshire dropped to -23C in the early hours of yesterdayCredit: www.newsline-media.com
Braemar experienced its coldest night since 1955Credit: PA:Press Association
A parked car in snow covered Castleton Terrace in BraemarCredit: PA:Press Association
Three friends on a sledge at Knole Park in Sevenoaks, KentCredit: London News Pictures
A snowy landscape in Rutland, West MidlandsCredit: Paul Marriott
Police survey the scene after large crowds of people went to the Town Moor in NewcastleCredit: North News and Pictures
The River Dulnain partially frozen in Carrbridge, ScotlandCredit: Getty Images – Getty