Freezing temperatures to grip UK as forecasters warn of rain and snow

The weekend will bring more cold weather with overnight frosts, freezing fog patches and a chance of snow in several areas.

London will see a widespread frost with temperatures plummeting to a minimum of -4 °C overnight.

Saturday will be “another very cold, frosty morning with freezing fog patches slow to clear” but will likely remain dry with light winds and bright spells.

The Met Office said Sunday brings in a chance of rain, “perhaps with brief hill snow, spreading east” before things warm up slightly on Monday and Tuesday.

There are a number of yellow weather warnings for snow and ice in place in northern Scotland, parts of Glasgow, Carlisle and areas in the north-west of England.

A separate warning covers parts of the UK further east, from above Newcastle to below Essex and Kent.

Although London does not fall under any of the Met Office’s weather warnings for snow and ice, the capital saw the season’s first white flakes on Friday morning - after temperatures in the city dropped to a low of -3.4C on Thursday night.

The Met Office has also warned the public to keep up to date with local forecasts over the weekend as they may change.

Parts of south London could see "sleet showers” at the weekend, according to BBC Weather, while Accuweather predicts a 31 per cent chance of snow in parts of the capital.

On Wednesday, Mayor Sadiq Khan activated emergency cold weather protocols, opening emergency accommodation across the capital, as the temperature was set to plunge to below freezing overnight.

He said: "I’ve activated the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, opening emergency accommodation across the capital for those sleeping rough.

“Charities and local councils will be working around the clock to help them."

The Angel of the North statue in Gateshead covered in snow on December 1 (PA)
The Angel of the North statue in Gateshead covered in snow on December 1 (PA)

The Met Office’s Chief Meteorologist Andy Page explained that the UK is being affected by a low-pressure system set to bring “less cold, but more unsettled weather for southern parts of the UK” by the end of the weekend.

He said: “Sunday be a cloudier day with some rain, but also a chance of snow at first over the Midlands.

“It will be brighter in the north, but still with a risk of showers in coastal areas. Still feeling cold away from the southwest with temperatures once again in low-single figures.

“There continues to be some uncertainty over the exact conditions for the start of next week.

“While, milder air - with some rain and possibly snow - is likely for the southern half of the UK on Monday, the weather models do not agree on how far north this mild air might go. There are several possible solutions.”