Record temperatures as big freeze tightens grip

Britain shivered in some record low temperatures overnight - including a "ridiculously low" minus 17C in Wales - as the big freeze maintained its grip on the country, forecasters said today.

The mercury at Llysdinam near Llandrindod Wells plunged to minus 17.3C - the principality's lowest ever temperature for November and the UK's chilliest for the month since 1985.

With much of the country blanketed in snow, Shawbury in Shropshire also dropped to minus 12.5C, Lough Fea in Northern Ireland to minus 9.2C and Church Fenton in North Yorks bottomed out at minus 11.9C

Michael Dukes of MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the Arctic conditions were caused by a combination of light winds, snow cover and clear skies - and could see readings down to minus 20C in Scotland later this week.

"You are seeing some ridiculously low temperatures - it has been a bit like it is in the middle of Scandinavia," he said.

"There should be a bit more of a breeze over the next day or two, which will not feel quite as extreme.

"But then we might see temperatures threaten minus 20C in the Scottish glens later.

"This is certainly an extraordinary cold snap."

The UK's lowest ever recorded temperature in November was minus 23.3C recorded in Braemar, in the Scottish Highlands, on November 14, 1919.

Other places were very chilly overnight, with Drumnadrochit in the Highlands seeing minus 12C and Northolt in the London area minus 6.5C at Northolt. It was also minus 9.2C in North Dartmoor.

Parts of Scotland and north east England have already seen well over a foot of snow since the start of the cold snap last week.

Latest weather reports show that up to 4ins (10cm) of snow has fallen in parts of central England and Norfolk.

But there is up to 16ins (40cm) in parts of Northumberland, and even more in northern and eastern Scotland.

Eastern parts will bear the brunt of more wintry weather today and there is an added risk of drifting snow, thanks to the biting easterly winds. Temperatures will also struggle to get above freezing, even in the big cities.

The severe conditions could last well into next week, forecasters have warned.

Tom Tobler of MeteoGroup said: "The cold weather will stay during the week with a brisk easterly wind developing which will make it feel even colder and which might bring more snow showers."

He said there could be a mix of rain, sleet and snow later in the week, adding: "People should be bracing themselves for more cold weather for the working week and beyond."

Motoring rescue service the AA said it dealt with around 15,000 breakdowns by the end of yesterday - up 80% on a normal November Saturday.

Two people were injured in a four-vehicle pile-up on the M1 near Sheffield, where an inch of snow was lying on minor roads.

The East of England Ambulance Service also recorded a spate of traffic collisions, with cars skidding into ditches, lampposts, fences and fields.

Flights at some airports were delayed - including at Jersey Airport where lightning hit the radar system overnight. There were also runway closures at airports including Luton, Newcastle and Inverness.

A number of sporting events were cancelled, including race meetings and FA Cup fixtures Hartlepool United vs Yeovil Town and Notts County vs Bournemouth.

But in Allenheads, Northumberland, skiers were praying for more snow on the village's 100m ski slope.

However, an Allenheads ski spokesman said: "There is insufficient snow in Allenheads for skiing and the road conditions are bad so we are discouraging people from trying to get up to the slope."

In Scotland, skiers were also able to enjoy a day on the slopes yesterday.

The unusual weather has been caused by high pressure over Greenland and low pressure in the Baltic, forcing cold winds from the north east across Europe.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower