TONIGHT could be the coldest night of the winter so far as a -12C bone chiller hits Britain.

Temperatures will plunge to bitterly cold levels before a fresh band of snow and sleet sweeps across the UK.

Parts of northern England and Scotland have already been blanketed in the white stuff – and more is on the way.

Forecasters have warned the mercury could drop as low as -12C in central Scotland overnight, and stay well below zero in other parts of the country.

It will also be Baltic elsewhere, with temperatures hovering around -6C in Preston, -5C in Stafford, and -4C in Oxford, according to weather charts.

Anything below -10C will see it beat the frosty temperatures recorded in November 2021, making it the coldest night of the season so far.

A yellow weather warning for ice is already in place for the West Midlands, East Midlands, Wales and north west England today.

The Met Office has urged Brits to take care as showers moving south-eastwards fall on sub-zero surfaces leading to icy patches and risk of slips, falls and accidents on the road.

The crisp conditions will continue into tomorrow, with a further three warnings in force for snow and ice.

These cover much of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland with "frequent sleet, hail and snow showers" and six inches of the white stuff expected.

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A further battering will hit on Friday, with warnings covering Scotland, western England and Northern Ireland until 11am.

Forecasters warn: "Frequent sleet and snow showers may lead to some difficult driving conditions and disruption to travel on Friday morning."

Power cuts are also possible, with a risk of "isolated" lightning strikes.

Met Office meteorologist Claire Nasir said: "Across much of the country through Wednesday we're bathed in cold air.

"As we head through Wednesday evening, with clearer skies and a lighter breeze, we will see temperatures fall very quickly so expect a widespread frost.

"Temperatures will be plummeting to around -4C in England and Wales and -10C on snowfields across Scotland.

"Eventually a ridge of high pressure will extend across so we'll see a fairly hard frost into Thursday morning before milder air moves in from the Atlantic with a band of cloud and rain.

"As the rain encounters the colder air, it will turn to snow. Colder behind as well so snow showers are likely through Friday too."

The cold snap has led bookies to slash the odds of this month going down as the coldest January on record to 6/4.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "Weather warnings are being issued left, right and centre, and the odds suggest that could well lead to a record-breaking cold month ahead."

On top of the frosty weather, there are also 11 flood warnings and 47 flood alerts in force across England, as well as two in Scotland and Wales.

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