Weekend big freeze set to bring temperatures as low as -16C

UK weather and snow latest: Freeze to continue with -16C forecast… after drivers left stranded on M3 for over six hours

This weekend’s big freeze could fetch temperatures as low as -16C, the Meto Office has warned.

Snow is expected to continue to cause widespread travel disruption across the UK.

Scotland could see lows of minus 16C (3.2F) tonight lasting into Sunday, as the cold snap continues.

A low of minus 15.4C (4.3F) was recorded just before midnight on Thursday at Braemar in the Scottish Highlands, while Shap in Cumbria dipped to munis 8.3C overnight.

Meteorologist Alex Burkill said parts of England could also see sub-zero temperatures reach double digits.

He said: “Over Saturday we’ll see some snow showers around the far north, the far west and the far east of the UK.

“Elsewhere it’s a cold day again and feeling especially cold in the south where it will be breezy, but for most it will be dry and sunny.”

He continued: “Tomorrow night it’s likely to be very similar to Thursday night – we could get down to minus 16C (3.2F) in Scotland, but it’s worth bearing in mind that even across the south we could get into negative double figures.”

A van makes it’s way through the snow on the B3081 near to Shaftesbury in Dorset, Snowfall and icy conditions are expected to cause widespread travel disruption after temperatures plummeted as low as minus 15.4C (4.3F) overnight. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)

He said Benson in Oxfordshire was one of the spots predicted to reach minus 10C (14F) or below.

“Across the bulk of the UK, tomorrow night’s going to be really cold.”

Although Cornwall and parts of the South East that were heavily hit over Thursday night and Friday are not expected to see any more showers, drivers were warned to beware of ice roads caused by lingering snow.

Sleet and snow did continue into the early hours of Saturday morning across Kent, hampering efforts to free motorists stranded on the A229 and A249.

Snow and fallen trees also created treacherous conditions on a stretch of the A21, which only reopened at around 2am.

Kent Police said it seen an “incredibly busy night” with multiple vehicles stuck.

The force also said there had also been “numerous RTCs (road traffic collisions) and vehicles going the wrong way on the motorway”.

A yellow warning for snow and ice covering large areas of the UK will remain in place until noon on Saturday.

The Met Office’s weather warning covers northern Scotland, most of Northern Ireland, the eastern coast of England, the south of England and the west coast of Wales.

Snow on the M6 near the village of Shap in Cumbria, as up to 10cm of snow could fall on higher ground as temperatures drop across large parts of the UK this week. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)

On Friday, a huge blanketing of up to 14 cm of snow caused havoc in the South West, forcing motorists to abandon their cars and seek shelter as traffic stood still.

Travellers were hit by long delays and schools closed their doors as February began with the coldest night for seven years.

By Friday evening, RAF Odiham in Hampshire had recorded 19cm of snow.

Closures included more than half of Bristol’s schools, more than 300 in Buckinghamshire, more than 150 in Cornwall and scores across Oxfordshire.

The majority of flights were cancelled from a snow-covered Bristol Airport on Friday, but normal service is expected on Saturday.

Meanwhile, London City Airport closed its runway on Friday night due to heavy snowfall, causing some flights to be diverted and others to be cancelled.

The airport said flights were expected to resume as normal on Saturday.

Flight disruption at airports in Cardiff and Bristol left queues of rugby fans facing a race to get to Paris ahead of Friday evening’s France vs Wales Six Nations opener.

Salt-spreaders covered 80,000 miles of England’s motorways and major A roads through the night to keep traffic moving, Highways England said.