Last night and today have seen some of the lowest temperatures of the winter so far.
Official observations show Holbeach in Lincolnshire dropped to -15.6 °C overnight, beating the previous coldest temperature of this winter of -12.4 °C at South Newington in Oxfordshire overnight on 3-4 February.
Today has seen also the lowest day-time maximum temperature for the UK so far this winter, with Coningsby in Lincolnshire only getting up to -5.3 °C. The previous record for this winter was -2.8 °C, set at Cassley in Scotland on 15 January.
It’s worth noting that some even lower temperatures have been quoted in the media. However, these are not official Met Office observations.
Our official observation sites conform to rigorous standards set by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This includes observation equipment undergoing regular checks and calibration, as well as meeting requirements about the location of the observation site to ensure readings aren’t affected by other factors.
This doesn’t mean readings from non-official sites are wrong, just that they cannot be officially recognised because they are not part of our WMO-approved network.
The reason last night and today have seen these low temperatures comes down to a combination of factors. Cold air from the east is still flooding over parts of the UK. Snow is also still lying in some places, and this can keep temperatures down by acting like an ice pack – as well as reflecting back energy from the Sun. Clear skies and light winds have also played a part, as these factors mean heat can radiate away into the sky.
Looking ahead, tonight is expected to be cold, although it is unlikely to be quite as cold as last night. As we move through next week, temperatures are expected to move closer to or even slightly above average. You can stay up to date with the latest outlook with our forecasts and warnings.
Coldest overnight temperatures for 10-11 February
-15.6 °C Holbeach, Lincolnshire
-15.5 °C Cavendish, Suffolk
-15.3 °C Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
-15.2 °C Wainfleet, Lincolnshire
-14.6 °C Santon Downham, Suffolk