Parts of the UK will continue to be beset by snow and ice on Tuesday – with the potential for the country to experience the coldest night of the year for a second day in a row.
The Met Office issued a yellow snow and ice warning covering northern Scotland and north-east England from midnight Tuesday to midday Thursday.
A separate snow and ice warning covers the Shetland Islands until midnight tonight.
There is also an ice warning covering much of the south east including London and Brighton from 9am Monday to 11am Tuesday.
Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon said there would again be heavy snowfall in some places on Tuesday.
“Coming into effect at midnight this evening until lunchtime Thursday, (there is a) large snow and ice warning covering the North East of England, the whole of the northern part of Scotland, as well as the Highlands and Islands,” he said.
He said there could be “up to 15 to 20 centimeters of accumulated snow on high ground”.
Mr Claydon said northern Scotland could see even colder temperatures on Tuesday after breaking the record for coldest night of the year on Monday.
“In terms of temperature, we could see another very cold night, especially in parts of Scotland where we have this snow lying down,” he said.
“We saw minus 15C last night. We could see similar or potentially even colder temperatures tonight under clear skies with this snowfall in some places.
“So a very cold night there but also very cold overall across the UK, with widespread freezing conditions.”
Mr Claydon urged commuters across the UK to ‘allow a little extra time’ if driving and to travel with ‘a little more caution’.
It comes after commuters faced travel chaos on Monday morning when large parts of the UK were hit by ice, fog and snow.
RAC’s Rod Dennis said their crews were “unusually busy” on Monday, helping more than 7,500 broken down motorists. He added that was 50% more than they would see on a typical Monday in December.
It was the coldest night of the year so far, with temperatures in northern Scotland dipping below minus 15C.
Widespread snow has forced schools in several parts of the country to close, with others warning they may have to follow on Tuesday.
Abbey View School in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, tweeted: “Dear Parents/Caregivers Due to weather conditions, Abbey View School will be closed on Monday 12th December. Please keep an eye on the Gloucestershire Closed Schools website or our school’s website for further updates.
Edmonton Primary School in North London posted: ‘School was closed today but that didn’t stop the Penguin class from having fun in the snow!
The Met Office said the lowest temperature on record was minus 15.6C at Braemer in Aberdeenshire, with the next five coldest temperatures all recorded in Scotland, including minus 13.1C at Balmoral.
Meanwhile, three boys aged eight, 10 and 11 died after falling into an icy lake in Solihull on Sunday afternoon.
A fourth boy, six, remains in critical condition in hospital.
Richard Stanton, Area Commander for the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘We know the weather forecast for the next few days is expected to be extremely cold. Please adults and children stay away from open water. Under no circumstances should you venture onto ice, no matter how thick or safe you think that ice is.
Drivers on the northern sections of the M25 were stuck for several hours as traffic was at a standstill.
The UK’s busiest motorway was closed in both directions between Junction 23 for South Mimms and Junction 25 for Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire on Monday morning.
National Highways said the closure was caused by “snow and stabbing trucks”.
Other roads in the region that have suffered lengthy delays include the M11, M2, A21, A27 and A249.
National Highways said it had up to 25 sandblasters working the M25 at any one time on Sunday and Monday night.
They spread 960 tons of salt and more than 18,000 liters of antifreeze.
Several railway lines will experience major disruption until the end of Monday, including services run by Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink
There are minor and serious delays on London Underground trains, with all but the Waterloo & City line, the Elizabeth line, Bakerloo, Circle and DLR affected.
Parts of the London Overground are suspended, including between Watford and Euston, Surrey Quays in Clapham Junction and Sydenham in West Croydon.
More than 300 flights due to serve UK airports were canceled on Sunday and Monday, with Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted and Bristol among those affected.
Gatwick, Luton and Stansted airports both announced on Monday that they were open but experiencing disruption.
Gatwick posted on Twitter: “The airport is open and flights operating, but the freezing weather will cause delays and cancellations for the rest of the day. Please check your flight status with your airline – and conditions local travel plans – before heading to the airport.
Luton and Stansted have also advised passengers to check the status of their flights before leaving home.