Families woke up to winter scenes this morning after a serious overnight fall in some parts of the UK – despite predictions from some weather forecasters that the north would be mostly affected.
Surprised people who lived in Essex and near Kent and Suffolk rose from their beds and found polar landscapes out of their windows as the sun rose in their counties.
And many in Edinburgh were already looking at the icy sights after being awakened from their sleep to loud pony hits like the so-called "Thundersnow" in the Scottish city.
The sounds of "explosions" are a rare weather phenomenon caused by thunder and lightning combined with snow.
In the hills on the outskirts of Bradford, West York, there is snow in the midnight hours after a flood of cold weather
That was the scene in Halstead, Essex, this morning after a heavy snowfall last night stunned families in the county
A newsboy fighting through the snow in Colchester, Essex after the unexpected nightly blizzard in the county
Colchester, Essex, on Friday morning after a night of consistently cold weather, covered with snow on the horizon
Bradford, West Yorkshire, also saw a large amount of snow covering much of the city.
It came as parts of the north were warned that they would continue to see "significant snow" for the next 24 hours and experience the lowest nighttime temperatures of the year, the Met Office said.
It warned that freezing temperatures in parts of Wales and southern England such as Wiltshire and Hampshire could result in rainy rain falling as sleet or snow.
A series of yellow ice and snow warnings have been posted overnight across much of Scotland and Northern Ireland and extend into North Yorkshire.
The coldest weather is expected overnight in north-west Scotland, where temperatures could drop to a freezing minus 10 ° C.
The village of Red Lodge in Suffolk also experienced the freezing weather that covered the streets, houses, cars and gardens
Motorists struggle through the snow as they try to work their way through conditions in Colchester, Essex
Cornard in Suffolk faced similar wintry conditions, with grass and hedges completely invisible through the fallen snow
In Bradford, West Yorkshire, the day started with icy sights stretching as far as the eye can see as temperatures plummeted
Lewis Balog takes his dog Luna out for a walk in Queensbury, near Bradford, after the first snowfall of winter hit West Yorkshire
Alex Burkill, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said the "most significant snow" would likely fall in England, Cumbria and the Pennines – where areas over 400m could see up to 10cm.
"That's a fair amount of snow, especially in early December," he said.
"The snowiest months are usually a little later in winter, January and February, and it is also very early in December right now."
Mr Burkill added that conditions "could quite easily make it the coldest night of the year yet".
The coldest temperature so far this year was recorded in February in Balmoral, Scotland, where the mercury dropped to minus 10.2 ° C.
Snow lies in the hills on the outskirts of Bradford, West York, as motorists avoid the roads in treacherous conditions
In Bathgate, West Lothian, a car drives through the snow in today's slippery and snowy conditions
A driver digs his car out of the snow in Bathgate, West Lothian, after getting stuck in white cloth while attempting to travel
In rural Kent in the village of Hamstreet near Ashford, a light dust is falling after a warning that snow could hit Britain
The snow in Kent started easily, but the country is prepared for more serious falls after weather forecasters warned of a cold snap
In Shotts, a town in North Lanarkshire between Glasgow and Edinburgh, snow fell Wednesday evening through Thursday morning
Early Thursday morning, snow fell on a road in Anniesland in Glasgow's West End, where it briefly rained heavily
Snow covered Shotts in Scotland on Wednesday evening and weather warnings were issued for parts of the country Thursday through Friday
The Met Office said the cold spell is expected to last through Friday, but that the weekend would have brighter weather and even some sunshine.
It added that temperatures for the next week would be lower than the average annual temperature, which is usually 7-9 ° C (45-48 ° F).
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