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 running.
The Met Office has issued a yellow snow and ice warning covering northern Scotland and north-east England from midnight on Tuesday until noon on 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 on Monday until 11am on Tuesday.
“Coming into force at midnight tonight all the way through to lunchtime on Thursday, (there is a) large snow and ice warning covering the North East of England, the whole sort of northern portion of Scotland, as well as the Highlands and islands,” he said.
He said there could be “as much as 15 to 20 centimetres of snow accumulating over high ground”.
Mr Claydon said northern Scotland could record even colder temperatures on Tuesday after breaking the record for the 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’ve got that lying snow,” he said.
“We saw minus 15C last night. We could see similar or potentially even colder tonight under clear skies with that snowfall lying in some places.
“So a very cold night there but also broadly very cold across the whole of the UK, with widespread freezing conditions.”
It comes after commuters faced travel chaos on Monday morning as large parts of the UK were hit by ice, fog and snow.
Rod Dennis from the RAC said their teams were “exceptionally busy” on Monday, helping more than 7,500 motorists with breakdowns. He added that this was 50% more than what 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 caused schools in several areas across the country having to close their doors with others warning they may need to follow on Tuesday.
Abbey View School in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, posted on Twitter: “Dear Parents/Guardians Due to the 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 website for further updates.”
Edmonton Primary School in north London posted: “School was closed today but that didn’t stop Penguin Class having fun in the snow!”
The Met Office said the lowest temperature recorded was minus 15.6C at Braemer in Aberdeenshire, with the five next coldest temperatures all recorded in Scotland, including minus 13.1C at Balmoral.
A fourth boy, six, remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Richard Stanton, area commander for West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We know that the weather forecast for the next few days is expected to be bitterly cold. Please, adults and children alike, stay away from open water. Under no circumstances venture on to ice regardless how thick or safe you think this ice may be.”
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 jack-knifed lorries”.
Other roads in the area suffering long delays included the M11, M2, A21, A27 and A249.
National Highways said it had up to 25 gritters treating the M25 at any one time on Sunday and overnight into Monday.
They spread 960 tonnes of salt and more than 18,000 litres of anti-freeze.
There are minor and severe delays to London Underground trains, with all but the Waterloo & City line, Elizabeth line, Bakerloo, Circle and DLR affected.
Parts of the London Overground are suspended, including between Watford and Euston, Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction and Sydenham to West Croydon.
More than 300 flights due to serve UK airports were cancelled across Sunday and Monday, with Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted and Bristol among those affected.
Gatwick, Luton and Stansted airports both posted on Monday they were open but experiencing disruption.
Gatwick posted on Twitter: “The airport is open and flights are operating however freezing weather will cause delays and cancellations for the rest of today. Please check the status of your flight with your airline – and local travel conditions – before coming to the airport.”
Luton and Stansted also advised passengers to check the status of their flights before leaving home.