UK weather: Britain colder than Iceland last night as coldest night of the year hits swathes of the country

Rotherham was colder than Reykjavík last night

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The Independent Online

Temperatures across Britain plunged to levels colder than in Iceland last night as the coldest night of the year set in for most people across the country.

England, Wales, and Northern Ireland experienced their coldest nights of 2014 with temperatures of -7.6C, -5.6C and -8.1C respectively.

Scotland faced a wintry -6.7C, though this did not break the record of -8.9C set in Aberdeenshire early in December.

The big freeze means Britain was significantly colder than Iceland overnight. The Nordic country sits in the border of the Arctic circle and is plunged into perpetual darkness during the winter.

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Iceland’s capital of Reykjavík, which lies just outside the Arctic Circle, saw lows of 6C at 3am GMT last night, significantly warmer than all of Britain.

Large parts of the north are covered in snow, with heavy frost covering the ground as the sun rose even in central London.

The Met Office has issued cold weather alerts across the country. The entire North and Midlands faced an amber warning, the highest the Met Office can give without declaring a national emergency.

The forecasters said social and healthcare services should be mobilised to make sure high-risk groups including pensioners were not in danger.

The South West, South East face the slightly less severe yellow warning, meaning there was a 75% chance of freezing conditions.

Although there is not expected to be further major snowfall in the coming days, the RAC has warned motorists to be careful in icy conditions on the roads.

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Northern Ireland’s low came in Katesbridge, County Down, and was nearly a full two degrees lower than the previous low of -6.2C.

England’s lowest temperature came in Oxfordshire and was about one degree lower than the previous 2014 record of -6.8C.

Forecasters have warned of temperatures just as cold across Britain over the next few days.

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