Winter arrives: Temperatures across UK plummet as low as -2C as Met Office issues severe weather warnings for wind and rain – and commuters are warned to brace for ‘Flat Battery Monday’
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Winter arrives: Temperatures across UK plummet as low as -2C as Met Office issues severe weather warnings for wind and rain – and commuters are warned to brace for ‘Flat Battery Monday’ 

Britain experienced its first widespread frost of autumn today as temperatures dropped below zero overnight in much of England and Wales.

The mercury fell to -2.2C (28F) in the Scottish Highlands early this morning, while the coldest place in England was Charlwood in Surrey at -1.4C (29.5F).

It comes after a chilly weekend that saw a low of -4C (24.8F) at Shap in Cumbria yesterday morning although much of the country enjoyed dry and bright conditions.

This week will start with high pressure across the UK, bringing settled conditions for many despite highs of only 13C (55F) in the South and 11C (52F) in the North.

But low pressure will arrive during the middle of the week, turning things much more unsettled with a yellow rain warning for Scotland from Thursday until Saturday.

The chill was a stark contrast to the previous weekend when October 8 saw the UK’s warmest October day in five years at 25.8C (78.4F).

Earlier this month also saw four consecutive October days above 25C (77F) – the longest such run since 1959.

Today is expected to be a largely dry day with a small chance of a few light isolated showers over north-western parts of Scotland.

It will be quite cloudy, but there will be sunny spells throughout the day, particularly early on with mostly gentle winds.

There will then be a dry and mostly clear end to the day for most, with cloud over southern parts, and a few spots of rain for South West England.

As the night progresses, most areas will remain dry with clear spells, particularly to the north, though rain will still affect the South West.

It will be staying mostly dry tomorrow with just a few showers in South West England and a few patches of light cloud around, with thicker cloud later.

The average temperature for October is usually 17C (63F) in London, and the mercury should recover to this level by Wednesday.

Wednesday will begin cloudy with spells of rain for southern and western areas, but downpours will become more widespread by the afternoon, and may be heavy.

There is then a Met Office warning for ‘extremely heavy rain’ for Scotland from Thursday morning amid concerns that communities could be cut off for days by flooding.

Parts of the country still recovering from flooding the previous weekend will again be affected by torrential rain until midnight on Saturday.

The Met Office put a 66-hour yellow weather warning in place and advised there is a chance homes or businesses could collapse amid extensive flooding.

Forecasters said there would be ‘strong south-easterly winds’. 

Fast-flowing or deep floodwater could also pose a danger to life across a swathe of central and eastern Scotland. The Met Office stated there could be ‘some exceptional rainfall totals’.

The impact could include areas being ‘completely cut off, perhaps for several days’, dangerous driving conditions and road closures.

The warning covers Angus, Dundee, Stirling, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland.

The UK’s first frost of the season was recorded on September 13 when temperatures dropped to -3.2C (26.2F) in Scotland.

That marked the UK’s first frost in 97 days since June 8 – and was also the first time a temperature of -3C (26.6F) in Britain had been recorded for 137 days since April 29.

It also came after a week-long heatwave earlier in September, which saw temperatures hit at least 30C (86F) for seven days in a row.

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