A big chill will grip Britain well into December and could even bring a white Christmas, forecasters warned, as snow wreaked havoc across the country today.
Temperatures fell as low as -10C on Sunday night after drifts covered many areas on the back of Storm Arwen.
Today’s Premier League clash between Burnley and Spurs at Turf Moor was scrapped 50 minutes before kick-off because the Lancashire pitch had become unplayable.
Elsewhere buses, cars and lorries were abandoned as roads became impassable due to the thick covering.
Met Office forecaster Tom Morgan said an “Arctic shot” was to blame for the sudden temperature drop.
Image:Katielee Arrowsmith SWNS)
He said: “As Storm Arwen is clearing out to Europe, a cold northerly flow of wind has been left behind in the UK, causing some of the bitterly cold temperatures we’ve seen.”
Scotland and the North of England bore the brunt of the wintery weather but Mr Morgan said even people in the South East would be scraping ice off their windscreens this morning.
The Met Office issued two yellow ice warnings for today and tomorrow, one across eastern parts of Scotland and another stretching from the North East of England to the south coast.
It warned of hazardous driving conditions and dangers to pedestrians from ice-covered pavements.
Freezing temperatures were forecast for much of the country, with the worst of it in the far north at -10C, Mr Morgan said – making it “the coldest night of the season so far”. He added: “Though this is expected to be the exception rather than the rule, temperatures of below freezing will be widespread, including in London and the South East which could hit -2C.”
The UK Health Security Agency urged people to check on those most at risk, such as the elderly and those with heart and lung problems.
The cold spell comes after three people were killed when trees were blown over by strong winds as Storm Arwen swept into the UK on Friday.
Gusts of almost 100mph caused widespread transport disruption, power cuts and damage to buildings, while heavy snow led to lorries getting stuck and ploughs being used to clear roads in some areas.
In Wrexham, North Wales, drinkers were evacuated from a Wetherspoons pub on Friday night after part of the ceiling of the North and South Bank collapsed in the storm.
Three stables were blown away at a donkey sanctuary in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, though thankfully no animals were injured.
A “North Pole Express” Christmas attraction at East Tanfield rail station in Co Durham was ripped apart by strong winds. And a 30ft Christ-mas tree crashed down in Audlem, Cheshire, just hours after villagers watched the lights being turned on.
Forecasters warned of further storms. Jim Dale, of British Weather Services, said: “The potential is there for a run of storms through the festive season and perhaps beyond.”
Calmer and milder conditions will return briefly this week before temperatures plunge again by the weekend.
James Madden, of Exacta Weather, said: “Into the final third of December we could see some sudden stratospheric movements bringing an even colder north-east or easterly wind that could persist for number of weeks.
“Snow on Christmas Day is more likely in the north of the country, but things can change rapidly and we can’t rule out festive snow anywhere.”