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UK weather: Coldest night of year as temperatures plunge to -15.7C and new ice warning issued

Met Office has issued weather warnings for snow and ice for four days as country blanketed overnight

Sam Rkaina
Monday 12 December 2022 09:41 GMT
London covered in snow as freezing temperatures sweep UK

The UK has had its coldest night of the year so far, with temperatures plunging to -15.7C.

The Met Office recorded the temperatures in Northern Scotland on Sunday evening, as snow fell across much of Britain.

Commuters faced travel chaos on Monday morning as large parts of the UK were hit by ice, fog and snow.

Heavy snowfall has fallen in large parts of the UK (PA)
Trains have been affected with cancellations and delays (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Met Office issued a new yellow warning for ice, covering London and the south of East of England between 9am Monday and 11am Tuesday.

Among the locations with fresh snow on Sunday included Andrewsfield, Essex (9cm), Charlwood, Surrey (5cm) and Herstmonceux, East Sussex (4cm).

Roads in eastern and south-east England are among the worst affected.

Drivers on the M25 were stranded for several hours due to the UK’s busiest motorway being closed in both directions between Junction 23 for South Mimms and Junction 25 for Waltham Cross, both in Hertfordshire.

National Highways said the carriageway will be “cleared and treated as soon as possible”.

Met Office weather warnings for Monday (Met Office)
A new alert for ice in the south east has been issued for Tuesday (Met Office)

Sussex Police issued a warning for “treacherous” roads.

Daniel Duffield, a 22-year-old off-duty paramedic, was stuck on the M25 for more than two-and-a-half hours on Monday morning while attempting to travel home to Birmingham from London.

He said vehicles have been “stationary with very small movement”.

“I expected some traffic due to weather but nothing this bad,” he said. “Traffic appeared to be at a standstill for miles and miles.

“Other drivers were turning their engines off presumably to save fuel due to the uncertainty. A few people were stretching their legs due to delays too.”

Commuters have faced difficult driving conditions on Monday morning (PA Wire)

AA president Edmund King said the number of breakdown callouts so far is around 25% higher than normal.

“Many drivers were stranded or severely delayed on the northern section of the M25 last night between London Colney and the M11,” he said. “Traffic is still severely delayed there this morning due to the continuous snow fall.

“Roads in Kent were also severely affected including the M2, and M20.

“The conditions show that it is essential to be prepared if you are driving.”

He urged drivers to check fuel levels and take warm clothing, a charged mobile phone, food and drink.

Stationary traffic on the M20 near Ashford, Kent, following the heavy overnight snowfall (PA)

“The best advice if you must drive is to take it easy and leave a much longer distance from the vehicle in front,” he added.

Several rail lines are closed, with Southeastern issuing a “do not travel” alert to passengers.

There is also major disruption to services run by Greater Anglia, South Western Railway and Southern.

It comes as four children were taken to hospital in a critical condition after being rescued from a lake in Solihull in the West Midlands on Sunday afternoon after falling through ice.

Emergency personnel at the scene in Kingshurst, Solihull after children were pulled from a lake (PA)

Richard Stanton, area commander for West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We know that the weather forecast for the next few days is expected to be bitterly cold, please, adults and children alike, stay away from open water, under no circumstances venture on to ice regardless how thick or safe you think this ice may be.”

Gatwick and Stansted airports closed their runways on Sunday to clear snow. Around 90 departures were cancelled from Gatwick between midday and midnight on Sunday, with at least a further 37 axed on Monday.

EasyJet was the worst affected. Both Gatwick and Stansted were open on Monday morning but passengers were warned about the potential for further delays.

London City Airport said it is “experiencing some disruption this morning” due to aircraft being out of position after the “significant amount of cancellations” on Sunday night.

The seafront at Whitley Bay in Northumberland after snowfall (PA Wire)



Overnight sleet and snow will gradually ease in southeast England. Wintry showers in the north and east, persistent across the Northern Isles, but elsewhere mainly dry and fine. Some freezing fog may be slow to clear in places. Cold.


A few wintry showers continuing across the north and near some eastern coasts. Elsewhere dry with a hard frost once again with freezing fog likely becoming dense and widespread.


Continuing cold, with frost and fog lingering in places. Otherwise fine, but further wintry showers near exposed coasts, later perhaps into the far southwest. Snow most persistent across northern Scotland.

Outlook for Wednesday to Friday:

Staying cold, but often bright, though frost and fog overnight proving slow to clear in places. Increasing threat of outbreaks of rain or snow by the end of the week.

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