Sub-zero temperatures could bring the coldest night of the year to Britain as weather warnings are issued that more disruption-causing snow is on its way.
Arctic air hovering across the UK will cause the mercury to plummet on Thursday night, with temperatures below minus 13C expected in parts of Scotland.
Heavy snow is also predicted to fall on Friday, with the Met Office issuing an amber warning in anticipation of the white stuff covering the east Midlands, North West and Yorkshire.
The Met Office warning predicts accumulations of up to 10cm are likely and up to 15cm could fall over higher ground.
“Travel delays on roads are likely, stranding some vehicles and passengers. Some delays and cancellations to rail and air travel are likely,” the Met Office warned.
“There is a possibility that some rural communities could become temporarily cut off. Power cuts may also occur.”
With the amber warning in place between 4am on Friday until 11am, a wider yellow warning for snow has also been issued for southern and eastern Scotland, Northern England, and the Midlands.
Northern Ireland also has a country-wide yellow warning for ice and snow which is in place from 12am until 9am on Friday.
Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey also warned the country could see the “coldest night of the year so far” before snow blankets parts of the country.
“The coldest temperature we have seen this year is minus 13C in Scotland, and we are likely to see temperatures slightly below that,” she added.
“But we are not talking about those extremes in the town and city centres, it is out in rural areas, more exposed areas, particularly over lying snow where you see temperatures drop the most.”
The Met Office said temperatures fell to as low as minus 4.5C in Katesbridge, Co Down, in the early hours of Thursday while most parts of the UK hovered around 0C.
The RAC said ice caused an “incredibly busy” morning, and as a result of the conditions dealt with a number of battery failures, minor bumps and shunts, and skidding.
Meanwhile the AA described the country’s roads on Thursday as “appalling” due to the “dicey icy roads”.
As a result, 27 inbound and 27 outbound flights were cancelled at Stansted, while around 50 flights were cancelled at Luton.
Some 300 passengers were left in the terminal at Stansted waiting to rebook flights on Wednesday evening after dozens of Ryanair services were cancelled, along with a number of easyJet flights.
On Thursday, Stansted said all flights were anticipated to operate as scheduled, although passengers were reminded to check their flight’s status before travelling to the airport.
At Luton Airport, a spokesman said the travel hub was busy because there were a few more passengers left over from the disruption caused by the weather on Wednesday.
“It does look like there are a few delays to some flights, but we are open, operational – nothing out of the ordinary,” he said, adding that passengers should still check with their airlines.