Temperatures fell as low as -14C (6.8F) overnight as waves of Arctic air continue to move across the UK. Tuesday evening was the coldest January night since 2019, the Met Office said. Bitter conditions and significant snowfall forced schools to shut in Scotland and northern England on Tuesday amid yellow warnings for ice and snow across all four UK nations. Forecasters say Wednesday night could see the coldest January temperature for 14 years. By the end of Friday, more than 40cm of snow may be seen on high ground in north-west Scotland, as wintry weather continues, the Met Office said.
Snow, sleet and rain are expected to continue blanketing northern parts of the UK, though there will be some sunshine.
Heavy frosts and freezing conditions are likely across virtually the entire country, with experts warning of treacherous pavements and roads.
The low of -14C was seen in provisional recording by the Met Office in Dalwhinnie in the Scottish Highlands.
The forecaster said on Tuesday that overnight temperatures in snow-covered parts of Scotland could fall as low as -15C, which would make it the coldest January night since 2010.
"It is still one of the coldest January nights in the last five years," Met Office forecaster Liam Eslick said.
"Although we didn't get the lowest temperature overnight, it's quite possible we could see that again tonight. So it is definitely still on the cards over the next day or so."
The lowest temperature so far this winter was -12.5C, in Altnaharra, in early December. In January 2010, -22.3C was recorded in the same Scottish Highlands hamlet.
Temperatures in most of Scotland are forecast to remain at freezing or lower throughout the day on Wednesday.
The UK Health Security Agency issued an amber cold weather alert for England this week, meaning the NHS is expected to come under extra pressure and elderly people may be more at risk. Icy winds blowing in from the Arctic this week have seen temperatures fall 5C to 6C below the average for this time of year.
The Met Office has issued three yellow weather warnings for Wednesday. They are:
A snow and ice warning for Northern Ireland and northern Scotland until 23:59 GMT on Wednesday
An ice warning for southern Scotland until 12:00 on Wednesday
A snow and ice warning for northern England and northern Wales until 12:00 on Wednesday
On Thursday, two more yellow snow and ice warnings cover much of the same regions, excluding some eastern areas of England and Scotland and southern parts of Northern Ireland.The UK is braced for sub-zero temperatures until the weekend, with Tuesday seeing more than 100 school closures in Scotland and dozens in Merseyside.All schools in Shetland were closed, with more than 50 shut in the Highlands and some sites in Aberdeenshire also affected, though some schools there have reopened.Northern and eastern parts of Scotland saw the "bulk of the snow" on Monday, with 15cm on the ground at Aberdeen Airport.Met Office Chief Meteorologist Andy Page has warned of drifting or blizzard conditions.South of the border, Liverpool Council said conditions had a "widespread impact" on Tuesday, with staff deployed to clear snow around schools, hospitals and transport hubs.