Coldest night of year expected as bitter -6°C freeze brings snow and hail

Brits are braced for another icy and chilly day as an artic blast of cold air makes its way across the UK.

Thursday got off to a freezing start with temperatures dipping as low as -4°C in parts of the north this morning.

While most places will be dry today, wintry showers, hail and snow will come across the far north, bringing a nagging icy wind with it.

The Met Office has warned people to layer up and take time to scrape fog from their cars amid the bitter conditions.

The mercury is set to plummet even further later, reaching as low as -6°C in some rural areas tonight.

Experts say many places could face their coldest night of the winter so far, bringing an end to the relatively mild temperatures seen in recent days.

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Temperatures will be lowest in the south, dipping to -4 °C in London and -2°C in Southampton by the early hours of Friday morning.

In the north, cloudy skies will limit the frost, meaning conditions will be slightly milder – though still below average for this time of year.

Into the weekend, the cold weather front will make its way to the north west again with persistent rain expected at times.

But for most places the weather will be settled, albeit cold and cloudy.

The Met Office said these conditions could persist for the next 10 days, when ‘more of the same’ is expected.

It will be generally be frosty and foggy in the south and cloudy and rainy in the north.

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Due to the freezing conditions the UK Health and Security Agency has urged people to check neighbours are safe.

Agostinho Sousa, a consultant at the agency, said: ‘Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with heart and lung problems, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.

‘Remind vulnerable relatives and neighbours to heat their home to at least 18C – particularly if they have reduced mobility, are 65 or older, or have a health condition. Should they need to go outside, it’s important for them to wear shoes with a good grip.’

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