River Thames frozen over at Teddington Lock as Britain hit with sub-zero temperatures

Parts of the River Thames froze over in London today as temperatures in Britain plummeted to sub-zero.

Low temperatures, caused by a bitter chill from the Baltic, led to the river partially freezing over at Teddington Lock in south-west London.

Birdlife were spotted enjoying the stretch as a temporary skating rink.

<img src="https://static.standard.co.uk/2021/02/13/12/newFile-3.jpg?width=968&auto=webp&quality=75&quot; alt="<p>Parts of the river at Teddington (pictured) were frozen over

Parts of the river at Teddington (pictured) were frozen over  REUTERS/Toby Melville

The frozen section of the river, which runs from the Thames Head in the Cotswolds through to the Thames Estuary in the North Sea, is non-tidal meaning that water flows more slowly and therefore it is more susceptible to icing over.

The stretch has previously frozen over. In January 1963, the coldest winter for 200 years, the ice was thick enough for a man to cycle on the river near Windsor Bridge.

This weekend in London, temperatures will struggle to get above 1C tomorrow and 4C on Sunday.

But milder conditions are on the way after a week of record-breaking cold, according to the Met Office.

Wintry weather will still be around for the weekend, but temperatures will begin to rise towards double figures into next week, forecasters have predicted.

It comes as a record low temperature for February was recorded in England and Wales for the second night running as parts of North Yorkshire dipped below minus 15C.

The Met Office said winds of up to 50mph were hitting the western isles of Scotland on Friday morning but that strong gusts would be felt across the UK.

Temperatures in Ravensworth, North Yorkshire, dropped to minus 15.3C overnight on Thursday, having previously recorded an all-time low of minus 13.1C on Wednesday night.

Freezing temperatures also remained in Scotland, with minus 15.4C recorded at Kinbrace in Sutherland, but the Met Office said it was unlikely to fall lower than earlier in the week.

The coldest UK temperature for 65 years was recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire on Wednesday night, when the mercury dropped down to minus 23C.

Marco Petagna, meteorologist at the Met Office, said strong winds across the Irish Sea and up to Scotland – reaching speeds of 50mph – would make temperatures “feel colder”.

In Dartmoor, Devon, where emergency services are currently tackling a large fire, gusts of up to 45mph are expected to continue throughout the day and temperatures will hover around freezing.

Mr Petagna said small amounts of sleet and snow in the air in the region could “dampen things down”, but it is unlikely to have any significant impact.

Yellow weather warnings for snow and ice remain in place until midday on Friday for north-east England, central and north-east Scotland, and parts of south-west England.

Further warnings are in place for Scotland and Northern Ireland on Saturday but the Met Office said more may be needed for Sunday due to a risk of freezing rain and ice.

It comes after councils across England urged people to take “extra care” in the treacherous conditions and several were forced to briefly suspend waste collection services.

Mr Petagna added conditions will mostly be milder going into the weekend, with areas such as Cornwall seeing up to 5C, and temperatures are expected to rise back up into double figures across parts of the country by next week.

EVENING STANDARD

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