December 5, 2020 12:09:54 AM
Forecasters have warned of icy conditions this weekend as the cold snap continues.
Friday brought dramatic “thundersnow” to some parts of Scotland in the early hours, while other parts of the UK also woke up to wintry scenes.
The Met Office has warned icy conditions are likely to persist at least until Tuesday.
Some Scottish residents got an unusual wake-up call overnight into Friday with the arrival of explosive “thundersnow”.
This rare phenomenon is a combination of heavy downpours of snow along with the usual thunder and lightning, making it sound like a distant explosion rather than a normal thunder strike.
Thursday into Friday was the coldest night of the winter so far, with the mercury dropping to minus 9.6C (14.7F) at Altnaharra, Sutherland, in the Highlands.
Elsewhere rain, sleet and snow fell across a broad swathe of Scotland and northern England.
The coldest night of 2020 was -10.2C (13.6F), which was recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire on February 13.
There is a yellow weather warning in place for rain across north-east Scotland, with a risk of flooding to some homes and businesses, while public transport services may be disrupted.
The warning covers Inverness, Aberdeen, Perth and Edinburgh, with up to 40mm forecast to fall.
Freezing temperatures could take hold overnight in south-east England where a warning for ice was issued lasting from Friday evening through to Saturday morning.
Residents in Kent, the far east of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk may face a few showers which could lead to more widespread ice in these areas, the Met Office said.
Matthew Box, a meteorologist with the Met Office, said: “By and large the most widespread snow is over, so through Friday night we could see some snow over high ground including the Peak District, Pennines, and through Saturday morning the Welsh mountains.
“We are going to continue to see showers moving in from Scotland over the North Sea and they are going to give some flurries over the Grampians and the Highland areas too.”
Early rain is forecast across parts of Scotland and south-west England as well as parts of Wales, which is expected to ease as the day goes on.
“It will be a cold-feeling day but there will be some bright sunny spells through Saturday, but showers will continue to affect many coastal areas where the wind is coming in off the sea”, he said.
But Saturday night into Sunday is likely to be very cold, with temperatures potentially dipping to minus 10C (14F) in northern Scotland.
Mr Box said: “Saturday night into Sunday is going to see a relatively widespread frost where we have clearer skies, particularly across parts of England and Wales, as well as further north in Scotland.
“We might see temperatures in some of the glens of Scotland approach minus 9C (15.8F) or minus 10C (14F) on Saturday night so it could be a rather sharp frost across local spots of Scotland.”