Fresh snow showers and sub-zero temperatures will continue to blight Britain as the icy weather that has gripped the country over the past week shows little sign of easing.
Around 15cm of snow is expected on higher grounds with strong 30mph north-easterly winds making the temperatures feel as low as -7C in parts of the UK.
Schools are expected to remain shut and transport routes blocked with forecasters warning that the onslaught of Arctic weather will not show signs of letting up until Friday.
Met Office forecaster David Price said: “It will remain bitterly cold today with the strong north-easterly winds continuing to bring snow showers and making temperatures feel as low as minus six or seven degrees. There will be fresh snowfall across the majority of the country, with the only areas really escaping being the Midlands, the far south west of England and the west and north-west of Scotland.”
Mr Price predicted that an average of between 0.8in (2cm) and 2in (5cm) of snow will fall across the UK on Wednesday, with 4in (10cm) to 6in (15cm) falling in higher areas. Temperatures are also expected to struggle to get past 0C with maximums of just 2C.
Mr Price said the snowy conditions will continue throughout Thursday adding to the existing levels that have accumulated over the past week.
“On Friday we should an expect a reprieve from the showers. However, it will remain extremely cold and the snow will be back over the weekend,” added the weather expert.
Gatwick Airport was also closed with all departures and arrivals halted until further notice due to the adverse weather conditions. Airport spokeswoman Sarah Baranowski said the runway was closed at 10.30pm on Tuesday and ground staff working throughout the night had not been able to clear the settling snow.
Severe weather warnings were on Wednesday in place for the whole of Scotland, with widespread icy roads and heavy snow expected in central and south westerly areas. Warnings were also in place for northern England, the south coast and parts of Wales as the UK braces itself for more Arctic temperatures.
Gemma Plumb, forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said snow drifts were reported in East Anglia and Suffolk on Wednesday morning as a result of the strong winds. A low of -19.8C was also taken in Altnaharra, in the Highlands, with temperatures not expected to break 0C in Scotland.