Travellers warned of more extreme cold weather amid heavy snow

The big freeze will continue over the weekend, with the Met Office warning of the coldest night of the winter as snow caused further transport disruption.

Scotland could see lows of minus 16C (3.2F) over Saturday night into Sunday as the cold snap continues, the Met Office said.

A low of minus 15.4C (4.3F) was recorded just before midnight on Thursday at Braemar in the Scottish Highlands.

It is set to be less chilly over Friday night and into Saturday morning – with temperatures around  minus 7C (19.4F) or minus 8C (17.6F) – but likely to dip right back down again by Saturday evening.

Winter weather Feb 1st 2019
People make a big snowball in Boars Hill, Oxfordshire (Victoria Jones/ PA)

Meteorologist Alex Burkill said parts of England could also see sub-zero temperatures reach double digits.

He told the Press Association: “Over Saturday we’ll see some snow showers around the far north, the far west and the far east of the UK.

“Elsewhere it’s a cold day again and feeling especially cold in the south where it will be breezy, but for most it will be dry and sunny.”

He continued: “Tomorrow night it’s likely to be very similar to Thursday night – we could get down to minus 16C (3.2F) in Scotland, but it’s worth bearing in mind that even across the south we could get into negative double figures.”

He said Benson in Oxfordshire was one of the spots predicted to reach minus 10C (14F) or below.

“Across the bulk of the UK, tomorrow night’s going to be really cold.”

Although Cornwall and parts of the South East that were heavily hit over Thursday night and Friday are not expected to see any more showers, drivers were warned to beware of ice roads caused by lingering snow.

Sleet and snow could continue across Kent into the early hours of Saturday morning, Mr Burkill said, but should have cleared by the time most people wake up.

A fresh yellow warning for snow and ice covering large areas of the UK took effect from noon on Friday until the same time on Saturday.

It covers northern Scotland, most of Northern Ireland, the eastern coast of England, the south of England and the west coast of Wales.

On Friday, a coating of up to 14 cm of snow caused havoc in the South West, forcing motorists to abandon their cars and seek shelter as traffic stood still.

Travellers were hit by long delays and schools closed their doors as February began with the coldest night for seven years.

By Friday evening, RAF Odiham in Hampshire had recorded 19cm of snow.

The closures included more than half of Bristol’s schools, more than 300 in Buckinghamshire, more than 150 in Cornwall and scores across Oxfordshire.

There was misery for travellers on the M3 westbound between junctions six and seven near Basingstoke due to snow and stranded vehicles, with the tailbacks stretching to Farnborough.

Highways England also reported severe delays between Tonbridge and Hurst Green on the A21 in Kent in both directions on Friday night – again caused by snow and stranded vehicles.

Most flights were cancelled from a snow-covered Bristol Airport on Friday, but normal service is expected on Saturday.

At around 10pm on Friday night, London City Airport said it had closed its runway due to heavy snowfall, causing some flights to be diverted and others to be cancelled.

Due to adverse weather (heavy snow fall) the runway has now been closed. We regret to inform you that few flights have been diverted and some have been cancelled.

— London City Airport (@LondonCityAir) February 1, 2019

Flight disruption at airports in Cardiff and Bristol left queues of rugby fans facing a race to get to Paris ahead of Friday evening’s France vs Wales Six Nations opener.

Salt-spreaders covered 80,000 miles of England’s motorways and major A roads through the night to keep traffic moving, Highways England said.