Britain weathering sever snow fall
Sheep in snow near Tunstall in Yorkshire as forecasters warn of severe weather over the weekend Photo: PA

Heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures have affected most parts of the UK's road network, amidst warnings of much worse weather predicted. Most parts of Britain recorded their coldest night of winter on Friday with as low as 9.48F (-12.4C) in South Newington, Oxfordshire.

Many parts of the country are in turmoil with heavy snowfall crippling transport services including London Heathrow's cancelling flights for the third consecutive day, while other airports in England have been affected with runway closures and cancellations.

Cold Wave Disrupts Europe
A snow plough keeps the roads clear in Hawes, Yorkshire, as Britain shivered through the coldest night of the winter Photo: PA

Road blocks have worsened commuting problems across various inter-city roads including the M40, where up to 100 vehicles were reportedly stranded. Certain parts have been engulfed with up to 15cm (6in) of snow over the past few hours, although forecast indicates the snow would ease by dawn.

Road Blocks due to Heavy Snowfall
A snow plough clears the A93 near the Spittal of Glenshee in Scotland, as Britain shivered through the coldest night of the winter.

Parts of Scotland, Wales, northern England and the Midlands witnessed heavy snowfall on Saturday before a cold storm swept across London and East Anglia too. Church Fenton, in North Yorkshire, reported 16cm (6in) of snow.

The Met Office has issued an amber alert across most parts of UK with forecast of up to 15cm of snow across Cumbria, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, the Peak District and the Midlands by Sunday.

Commuters Bearing the Brunt of Cold Waves
A man rides a bicycle during snowfall in downtown Bologna Photo: Reuters

RAC rescue patrol team has reported to have attended up to 70 per cent more breakdowns than usual, with almost double its usual number of callouts on Saturday.

"It looks like we're going to get a dangerous cocktail of driving conditions, with heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures making the roads extremely treacherous," said Kevin Andrews, RAC patrol ambassador.

Heathrow Airport Facing the Brunt of UK Snow Storms
Snow is cleared from the southern runway at Heathrow airport in west London Photo: Reuters

Heathrow Airport has already charted out plans for bad weather on Sunday, with announcements of a reduced timetable featuring just 70 per cent of its scheduled flights.

Meanwhile, subzero temperatures of 12.92F (-10.6C) were recorded in Chesham, Buckinghamshire and 13.46F (-10.3C) in Benson, Oxfordshire at 2am on Saturday morning.

Shoppers Bearing the Cold
Shoppers make their way through falling snow in Harrogate as forecasters warn of severe weather over the weekend Photo: PA
Ukraine People Getting Medical Attention Amidst Deadly Cold Spell
A man, suffering from frostbite, receives medical aid inside an ambulance in Stavropol Photo: Reuters

More than 220 people were reportedly dead across Europe as a result of the cold break, with Ukraine bearing the heaviest toll. People were found dead on the streets in many countries, while thousands trapped in the mountain villages in Serbia.

Rivers Facing the Brunt of the Cold Spell
Ice partially covers the River Swale near Reeth as forecasters warn of severe weather over the weekend Photo: PA

Elsewhere in Italy, Venice's canal was reported to be freezing over as Rome faced the wrath of heavy snow. Most parts of England are also under the radar of cold wave alert level 3, which warns of "100 per cent probability" of severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow.

The 'big freeze' is touted to have plummeted day temperatures across Europe by an alarming four to five degrees in the month of February - traditionally the coldest month of the year.

"We will see a frontal system that will push south eastwards across the UK and the rain associated with it will turn to snow," said Billy Payne, a forecaster with MeteoGroup.

Fountain in Trafalgar Square Freezing Over
Icicles form on the fountain in Trafalgar Square, London, as Britain faces the brunt of snow this weekend after another bitterly cold night across the country Photo: PA

He added: "There will be some significant accumulations quite widely across much of England. Away from the South West and across eastern parts of Scotland we are looking at 5 to 10cm (1.9 inches to 3.9 inches) of snow in many areas."

A local government association spokesman asserted an army of council staff and volunteers were on rescue missions to help the victims of the foul weather.

Meanwhile, British Gas reports its fleet of all-weather 4x4s was on standby to enable engineers attend to customers and keep Britain warm during the cold snap.

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