Snow warnings continue as 14 INCHES fell in parts of UK ahead of -20C coldest February night in 74 years tonight
BRITS are bracing for the coldest February night in 74 years tonight with temperatures to plunge as low as -20C.
It comes as parts of the UK saw 14 INCHES of snow with weather warnings in place in England and Scotland for three days.
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Temperatures plummeted to -17C last night – the coldest night in 10 years -and the weather could get even worse as Storm Darcy continues to wreak havoc across the UK.
Temperatures as low as-11C are expected overnight in the Highlands tonight before plunging as low as -20C in the early hours of Thursday.
The lowest recorded temperature ever in the UK for February was -20.6C, recorded in Woburn, Bedfordshire on February 25, 1947.
Met Office meteorologist Clare Nasir said "temperatures will plummet wherever you are" on Wednesday, and "strong winds" and snow will be "disruptive across many areas" in the UK.
Snow in parts of Aboyne, Scotland reached 14 inches deep while in the South Essex had just under 8 inches.
Storm Darcy – dubbed the 'Beast from the East II' – has brought howling blizzards from Russia to the UK, with swathes of the country experiencing heavy snowfall.
A yellow weather warning remains in place across eastern parts of the UK, with the Met Office warning "snow showers could bring disruption to travel".
Today's alert covers most of the south east of England, as well as the Midlands, the North East and most of Scotland.
Further yellow snow and ice warnings are in place across the North East until midnight on Friday.
Towns could become “cut off” and widespread travel chaos is expected.
Health chiefs have also issued a cold weather alert for the whole of Britain, saying the chill could have "a serious impact on health".
Met Office spokesperson Nicola Maxey said the "bitterly cold" winds could mean temperatures fall even further tonight, with more snow expected throughout the week.
Temperatures are expected to plummet below 0C for most of the UK overnight.
In Kent a lion cub, less than a month old, died at a popular wild animal park in Kent after it ventured out of its den at night during heavy snow.
Port Lympne Wild Animal Reserve revealed the young cub had "succumbed to the elements very quickly".
Staff are said to have been left devastated following the death.
The cub had been born with two siblings on January 13 to second time mother Oudrika and father Adras at the animal park in Hythe, near Folkestone, Kent which is run by the Aspinall Foundation.
Cameras were installed in the den to capture the arrivals.
But sadly three days later, one of the cubs was found to have died after staff noticed it was unresponsive.
Now, a second has passed away in tragic circumstances.
Currently National Severe Weather Warnings for snow and ice are in force for parts of the UK for the rest of this week – and further warnings are possible.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Dan Suri, said: “Weather for the rest of this week will continue to be very cold with daytime temperatures only reaching a degree or so above freezing at best for many and strong easterly winds continuing to make it feel even colder.
“Overnight temperatures have been notable with -17.1C recorded in the Highlands of Scotland, on Tuesday night.
"While Wednesday night is expected to be the coldest night of the winter so far.”
Today a Snow and Ice warning was issued for Saturday across northern and many western parts of the UK.
Dr Owen Landeg, Group Leader, Extreme Events and Health Protection at Public Health England, warned: “Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with heart and lung problems, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.
“So it’s really important during this particularly cold period, to keep checking on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses.”
Transport services were disrupted on Wednesday morning due to the weather, with Stagecoach East Scotland cancelling many of its early morning Fife services.
Rail services between Edinburgh and Glasgow are running 30 minutes late due to the cold weather.
All Edinburgh tram services are currently cancelled because of issues caused by the weather.
Parts of Orkney are dealing with power cuts, with all schools in the area closed, even to children of key workers, due to the weather.
Areas including Edinburgh and Glasgow have already faced a loss of electricity supplies amid the wintry weather.
Roads over higher routes are expected to be particularly affected by the snow, and some rural communities might be cut off.
Yesterday, STV weatherman Sean Batty reported that Braemar in Aberdeenshire has had record levels of snow.
In a tweet, he said: "Now recording about 70cm (27.6in) of snow lying in Braemar.
"Record we hold for Braemar is 68cm (26.8in) back in 2001, so looks like that's gone.
"We're not going to stop there either, still more to come tonight & tomorrow. Stay safe."
Brits have been urged to stay inside, as the Met Office warned of injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces.
Yesterday a covidiot couple from London sparked a huge air-sea rescue operation when they drove 150 miles to wander along a storm-lashed beach.
They travelled to look at terrifying waves bigger than a double decker bus which threatened to sweep them to their deaths.
Rescue teams said it was among the worst weather conditions they had ever faced and were giving up hope of finding the couple alive as dusk approached.
Then, with darkness closing in, they suddenly appeared, strolling back arm-in-arm to the car park in Winterton, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, asking what had sparked the search drama.
The couple were condemned for their stupidity – and faced paying a police fine for breaking the Covid lockdown travel rules.
There were even demands that the Covid clowns should foot the bill for the rescue operation, costing an estimated £3,000, with volunteer teams putting their lives on the line to look for them in the bad weather.
Paul Garrod, chairman of the Caister independently-run lifeboat, said "There were 20ft rolling waves.
"It's the worst I've seen in 20-odd years, because we were so close into shore. It was horrendous."
'THE WORST IN 20 YEARS'
Yesterday, police forces in parts of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex told drivers not to travel as roads became "impassable" due to settled snow.
Road closures were announced in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Cumbria, Derbyshire and Hertfordshire.
Suffolk Highways said conditions were "worsening", comparing the recent weather to the "Beast from the East" of 2018.
National Rail has told train passengers that services across the country are likely to be affected by the conditions.
The firm said "it may be necessary to close some routes", and urged customers to travel "later in the morning".
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