Sub-zero temperatures hit region as winter bites

Snow falling at Jackson's Wharf in Hartlepool. Photo by Ashley Foster,
Snow falling at Jackson's Wharf in Hartlepool. Photo by Ashley Foster,

Freezing weather continues hit the North East with temperatures set plummet to as low as -4C, according to the Met Office.

In South Shields and Sunderland this morning the Met Office has reported temperatures as low as -3C, with temperatures in Hartlepool remaining similarly freezing at -2C.

Hartlepool Marina in the snow. Photo by Ashley Foster.

Hartlepool Marina in the snow. Photo by Ashley Foster.

A widespread frost will affect the region at first, with temperatures struggling to climb above freezing during the day, although the maximum temperature will remain bitterly cold at 1C.

For the rest of the day it is expected to be a mainly dry but very cold, with periods of winter sunshine, although some wintry showers could affect eastern parts.

Tonight people should brace themselves for a widespread frost again developing across the region.

Some wintry showers will persisting along the coast through much of the night, but easing by dawn and temperatures will drop -4C.

Snowy weather at the North Marine Park in South Shields. Photo by Suzanne Douglass.

Snowy weather at the North Marine Park in South Shields. Photo by Suzanne Douglass.

Tuesday will also be frosty but then a largely dry, fine, but cold day with bright or sunny spells and a maximum temperature of 2C.

For the rest of the week, from Wednesday to Friday, it is expected to be milder but windy with some rain, with brisk winds set for Friday.

Meanwhile in Chillingham Barns, Northumberland temperatures droped as low as -11.6C

And across the country the severe weather has brought disruption to flights, with dozens cancelled at Heathrow, and train services are also likely to be impacted.

Photo by reader Suzanne Douglass captures snowy scenes in South Shields.

Photo by reader Suzanne Douglass captures snowy scenes in South Shields.

Western Power Distribution said engineers worked through the night as they aimed to restore power to 10,000 home in the Midlands, South Wales and South West.

As a result of the snow and freezing conditions, Birmingham City Council has been forced to cancel all council-run school and related transport services on Monday, the authority said.

More than 200 schools will be closed in Gloucestershire, and more than 100 in Shropshire.

In Wales, 71 schools are closed in Flintshire, 11 in Wrexham and 49 in Denbighshire.

Pete Williams, the RAC's road safety spokesman, said they are expecting 11,000 breakdowns on Monday, a figure which is 20% above the seasonal norm.

"I think the big thing is people are not going to leave enough time," he said.

"Journeys will take two to three times longer.

"It's going to be treacherous driving conditions."

He said low overnight temperatures could cause black ice and urged people to drive slowly, leaving plenty of space between them and the car in front.