The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow and ice, saying travel delays and cancellations are possible and rural communities could be cut off.
The warning for parts of South East England comes as the temperature in Scotland plunged to its lowest in seven years.
A temperature of -15.4C (4.3F) was recorded in Braemar in Aberdeenshire, making it only slightly higher than the low of -15.6C (3.92F) set in 2012.
Further snowfall is expected in the coming hours, with the Met Office saying “there is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off”.
The yellow warning, covering parts of South East England, is in place until 1pm on Friday.
The warning adds there are “possible travel delays on roads stranding some vehicles and passengers” and “possible delays or cancellations to rail and air travel”.
The Met Office adds that “power cuts may occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected”.
Snow has caused widespread to disruption to schools and travel services across the country.
SCHOOL CLOSURES (01/02/19, 07:36)
•Deri View Primary
•Mounton House Special School
•The Dell Primary
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— Monmouthshire (@MonmouthshireCC) February 1, 2019
- Bournemouth Airport has said its airfield “is closed until further notice”
- Bristol Airport is closed until midday and “teams are working hard to clear the airfield”
- London Luton Airport is “open and operational but flights may be subject to delay”
- South Western Railway has told passengers that trains may be cancelled on Friday morning while work is done to check and clear the tracks
Weather Update 0630: Our teams have been working through the night to clear snow from the airfield. Snow is still falling & the airfield remains closed until 0800. Please monitor our social media feed for a further update and contact your airline for specific flight queries. pic.twitter.com/k914EcdRhX
— Bristol Airport (@BristolAirport) 1 February 2019
01/02/2019, 07:00: The airfield is snow closed until further notice. Clearing operations are underway and a further update will be made at 08:00. Please contact your airline for flight information.
— Bournemouth Airport (@BOHAirport) 1 February 2019
Sky News weather forecaster Nazaneen Ghaffar said: “This morning, yellow snow and ice warnings are in force from the Met Office for northern and eastern parts of Britain, and central and southern parts of England and Wales.
“Across these areas there is likely to be about 1cm to 3cm (0.3in to 1.1in) of snow accumulating widely and perhaps up to 10cm (3.9in) for some spots, especially over Wales and South West England.
“Ice will be an additional hazard to the snow as well, so some travel disruption is likely this morning. However, most of the snow over central and southern areas of England and Wales this morning will be across inland areas, coasts are more likely to experience spells of rain and sleet.
“Met Eireann also have a yellow snow and ice warning for the whole of the Republic of Ireland today, although it’ll be mainly dry there.
“There has also been an a higher amber warning issued this morning for parts of Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Reading, Slough, Reading, Surrey, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham.
“This has been issued as, following the overnight snowfall across these parts, this morning there is likely to be a further 5cm falling and accumulating across these areas which will probably lead to problems on the roads.
“Through today the rain, sleet and snow across central areas of England and Wales will tend to ease away, but eastern England may still see some patchy light spells of rain, sleet and snow into this evening.
“Saturday will be a mostly dry and sunny day for many, apart from wintry showers across coastal areas. Sunday will see a band of rain and hill snow spread eastwards across the UK and Ireland.”
A yellow “be aware” warning is in place for most of the Eastern side of the UK.
That means travel delays are possible, there could be power cuts and villages could become cut off.
Heavy snowfall across the UK led to “hazardous driving conditions” – with hundreds of motorists stranded in their cars last night as temperatures fell.
Some of the worst disruption on Thursday night was seen in Cornwall, where police began an “intensive effort” to help those stuck in about 100 cars on the A30.
The Met Office had forecast a maximum of 10cm of snow for Thursday – but at least 12cm (4.7in) was recorded on Bodmin Moor in the county.
One hotel in Bodmin, the Jamaica Inn, opened their doors to stranded motorists – and offered makeshift beds for those who needed to abandon their cars and take refuge.
On Twitter, the hotel said it had taken in more than 100 adults, four children under the age of two and an eight-month-old with a heart condition.
As the final day of the working week begins for most Britons, Highways England says winter maintenance crews are “working hard through the night across the road network” – continually treating and clearing surfaces.