Sunny days and chilly nights in store to mark the start of winter

Updated: 

A cold snap heralds the arrival of winter on Thursday, with crisp sunny days and sub-zero nights kicking off the week.

After a cold and frosty start, skies will clear from the east on Monday morning, bringing sunshine for many; however, cloud will linger across Northern Ireland and north-west Scotland.

Despite the sunshine, temperatures will only climb to around 7C in northern England, 10C in the South, 6C in Wales, 5C in Scotland and 8C in Northern Ireland.

The mercury will fall under starry skies on Monday night, with most of England seeing temperatures fall to minus 4C and further still to minus 6C in the South. Northern Ireland and Scotland will fare slightly better where lows of 2C or 3C are expected.

(Catherine Wylie/PA)
Frost covers vegetation in front of a tree in Coalisland, County Tyrone (Catherine Wylie/PA)

Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: "Tonight will be cold with almost a repeat performance for temperatures on Tuesday.

"There's an area of high pressure that has developed across most of the UK over the weekend and that is due to stick around for the rest of the week.

"Most places will stay dry until the weekend when there will be a slight risk of rain."

December 1 marks the beginning of meteorological winter, which lasts until February 1.