Bitterly cold night set to give way to more widespread sleet and snow

Warnings have been issued as temperatures are forecast to drop to as low as minus 15C (5F) overnight, ahead of a day of possible sleet and snow showers over much of Britain.

Much of Scotland was hit by a band of snow on Thursday morning which turned into more sporadic showers as it moved into northern England.

Forecasters said an even colder pool of air was moving down from Greenland which would bring biting temperatures overnight into Friday morning and a broader area of sleet and snow on Friday.

But the Met Office said the weekend would bring a "slight warming", reducing the chances of snow and frost.

Met office spokesman Oli Claydon said yellow warnings for snow and ice were in place for much of the UK over the next two days and police forces and councils had issued calls to motorists to be careful on icy roads.

He said: "The wintry theme continues, certainly for the next couple of days, but we're then looking at a warming trend with slightly less cold air moving in over the weekend."

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Britain hit by snow and ice
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Britain hit by snow and ice
A woman clears snow from her windscreen near Mam Tor in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A dog peers out from a car boot in snowy conditions near Mam Tor in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man falls off a sledge near Winnats Pass in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
BRADFORD - JANUARY 02: A woman walks a dog in the snow around Peel Park on January 02, 2021 in Bradford, United Kingdom. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
A car navigates snowy conditions near Mam Tor in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
BRADFORD - JANUARY 02: A man rides a quad with a child in the snow around Peel Park on January 02, 2021 in Bradford, United Kingdom. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
BRADFORD - JANUARY 02: People go sledging in the snow around Peel Park on January 02, 2021 in Bradford, United Kingdom. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
A car drives through snowy conditions near Mam Tor in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Children play in the snow near Winnats Pass in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Orographic clouds above the Pennines as viewed from Bishop Auckland, County Durham. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Kevin O'Neil (R) speaks to a participant in the freezing temperature of Combs reservoir as he leads a cold water therapy treatment group near Chapel en le Frith, northwest England on January 1, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A walker photographs the snow and frost in Marchwood near Southampton. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Individuals swim in Combs reservoir as they take part in a cold water therapy treatment near Chapel en le Frith, northwest England on January 1, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Rosie Parker plays with daughter Scarlett Parker play on a snow covered field on December 29, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. Heavy snow fall has covered the West Midlands and other parts of England as the Met Office has issued yellow warnings throughout the day. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
A COVID-19 testing centre continues to operate in Ancoats, Manchester city centre, as snow hits the UK. Tuesday 29th December 2020. (Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
WIMSLOW, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: A football training session takes place on snow covered pitches on December 29, 2020 in Wimslow, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: A general view outside the stadium as residents enjoy the snow in the surrounding areas prior to the Premier League match between Burnley and Sheffield United at Turf Moor on December 29, 2020 in Burnley, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Driving instructor Steve Smith removes snow off the top of his car as heavy snowfall falls down on the west midlands overnight on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Driving instructor Steve Smith removes snow off the top of his car as heavy snowfall falls down on the west midlands overnight on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Cars are covered in snow as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Footsteps in the snow as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A dog walker walks her dog for the first time in the snow as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A dog walker walks her dog for the first time in the snow as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Layers of snow on the wall as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
Hikers in snow on Bleaklow Moor in the Peak district of Derbyshire, after days of wet and wintry weather across the Christmas break, with a cold snap and icy conditions still to come.
Hikers in snow on Bleaklow Moor in the Peak district of Derbyshire, after days of wet and wintry weather across the Christmas break, with a cold snap and icy conditions still to come.
Red deer in the snow alongside the A82 in Glencoe, Scotland.
A snow plough spreads grit as it passes through Killin in Stirlingshire.
Paige, 10, and her sister Katy, 2, sledging in the snow in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Pippa the goldren retriever plays in the snow in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Lizzy and daughter Connie, 6, are chased down a snow covered hill by their golden retriever Pippa in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Niamh, 2, sledging in the snow in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
William (surname not given) sledges in the snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Overnight snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Overnight snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Maddie, 7, plays in the snow in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Konrad (surname not given) sledges in the snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Brothers William (right) and Konrad (surname not given) sledge in the snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Overnight snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Vehicles in snowy conditions on the A40 near Whitney West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Snow covering the village of Oulton in Staffordshire. (Photo by Tom Leese/PA Images via Getty Images)
Snow covered houses in the village of Oulton in Staffordshire. (Photo by Tom Leese/PA Images via Getty Images)
Snow covered fields near the village of Oulton in Staffordshire. (Photo by Tom Leese/PA Images via Getty Images)
Cristina, 4, and her sister Stefania, 3, play with snowballs in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Horses on the gallops in the snow at Sam Drinkwater's Granary Stables in Upper Strensham, Worcester. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)
A message written on a car window after a snowfall in Liverpool overnight. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A car wheel spins in the snow as heavy snowfall falls down on the West Midlands overnight on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. Heavy snow fall has covered the West Midlands as the Met Office issues yellow warnings throughout the day. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Members of the public help a car that is stuck in the snow as heavy snowfall falls down on the West Midlands overnight on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. Heavy snow fall has covered the West Midlands as the Met Office issues yellow warnings throughout the day. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
(Parental permission given), people make the most of a snow downfall on Camp Hill, Woolton, Liverpool. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
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Mr Claydon said the front which moved down over Scotland into Friday morning had brought snow to most areas of the country, including at lower levels and also to higher ground in northern England.

Snow up to 11cm (4ins) deep was recorded in the Highlands at Loch Glascarnoch, with temperatures plummeting as low as minus 6.4C (20.5F) at Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway overnight.

Mr Claydon said some lower lying areas of northern English counties had also seen some accumulations, with snow lying in many parts of Cumbria and Northumberland on Thursday afternoon.

PA infographic showing weather warnings for snow and ice Jan 7-8
(PA Graphics)

He said the south of England had been drier but that fog had kept temperatures below freezing in many areas, with Hereford and Worcester still at minus 2C (28.4F) by noon on Thursday.

Mr Claydon said the further band of cold air moving south later on Thursday would bring more wintry weather.

He said: "There's an even colder pool of air coming in from Greenland going to be affecting Scotland.

Snow covers hills near Kilhope, on the Northumberland/Durham border
Snow covers hills near Kilhope, on the Northumberland/Durham border (Owen Humphreys/PA)

"So, showers feeding into Scotland off the North Sea coming in as snow showers down to lower level.

"And a very cold night for sheltered glens over snow cover tonight, even as low as -10C (14F) to -15C (5F) possible."

Mr Claydon said that overnight temperatures could drop to as low as minus 4C (24.8F) in urban areas in Scotland and minus 2C (28.4F) in London.

PA infographic showing coldest UK January temperatures
(PA Graphics)

He said Friday would see snow possible even in southern areas of England but that larger accumulations were more likely over higher ground.

Three Environment Agency flood warnings were in place on Thursday afternoon for areas where flooding is likely, in the King's Lynn and Peterborough areas as well on the River Derwent in North Yorkshire.

There were 22 alerts for areas where flooding is possible scattered across England but a further 11 had been stood down.

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