Parts of Britain could face a further 40 days of Arctic conditions after the country shivered in temperatures down to -10.3C (13.5F) yesterday on the first day of winter.
The bone-chilling low was recorded in the Scottish Highlands - and with more sub-zero conditions and snow forecast, there are concerns thousands of people could struggle to get to the polls on election day.
Conditions later this week will become more unsettled, with lows down to -14C (7F) predicted as a 1,100-mile wide weather front envelops the UK, threatening travel as voting begins in ten days' time on December 12.
A boy plays with a football at the Angel of the North in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, after sunset yesterday evening
Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts said the weekend temperatures had been 'lower than anything seen so far at this end of the year' with 'still more to come'. Lows of -6C (21F) were recorded in Oxfordshire this morning.
It will be dry and bright today across much of England and Wales today, with some spells of sunshine – while cloud across Scotland and Northern Ireland will sink southwards across northern England. Scotland will also see light rain.
Tonight, lingering rain or drizzle in northern Scotland will clear as the night goes on. Otherwise, it will be a dry and clear night across the UK, although some mist or fog will form, particularly across southern England and Wales.
Patchy low cloud and mist across England and Wales will linger throughout tomorrow in some areas, particularly towards the South where winds will be light, although there will still be some spells of sunshine.
Temperatures were below freezing in parts of Britain this morning (left) and won't get into double figures this afternoon (right)
It will be cloudier and breezier in Scotland and Northern Ireland tomorrow, though remaining predominantly dry – and on Wednesday, cloud and rain will gradually push into the north-west of the country.
It will remain largely dry elsewhere, with variable cloud and bright spells. Thursday will be wet in the North and West, particularly in the Scottish Highlands which could see up to four inches (100mm) of rain fall.
Leon Brown, head of meteorological operations at the Weather Company, gave a warning of a possible prolonged period of Arctic conditions, saying that temperatures as low as -14C are forecast.
He said: 'Thirty to 40 days with snow or ice disruption are expected this winter in Scotland and parts of northern England. After cold spells in December, more sustained cold is expected during January and February.'