Jack Frost has arrived in Lancashire.
The county woke with a shiver to find a sprinkling of snow over higher grounds and icy decorations on car windscreens.
The dip below expected norms has caused the water at Brockholes Nature Reserve in Samlesbury to freeze over – a condition that is expected to last for weeks.
Reserve spokesman Alan Wright said: “It does make life a little difficult for the ducks, geese and lapwings but they are skilled at finding food fairly easily.
“Brockholes is a great example of how nature can change the landscape. It is a beautiful place to work and visit in spring and summer but it is just as spectacular in the snow and ice of winter.”
Gritters had been out overnight, but a number of accidents were still reported in the region.
Neil Hodgson, of Neil’s Auto Services, based in Lea, Preston, said wintry conditions always meant a busy time for his team of three drivers.
Mr Hodgson said: “Winter is always busy for us, because driving conditions are bad. It’s very dark and there is a lot of ice around that can catch people out, especially if there has been a mild spell beforehand.
“We’ve been called out to a lot of shunt-type incidents recently, and to people who have skidded on black ice and damaged their wheels on a curb.
“You don’t need to be going fast to end up crashing and damaging your car so that it needs recovering.”
Experts at the MET Office predict that the cold snap will last until weekend, when a warmer front from the Atlantic pushes in.
A spokesman said: “Temperatures we would normally expect at this time of year in Lancashire are between 1C and 7C, but for the past few days we’ve had a block of high pressure bringing cold air in from the continent.
“Temperatures overnight until the weekend will be as low as -5C or -6C, and during the day, it will struggle to get above 0C.
“By Sunday we should see temperatures rise to around 3C or 4°C, with more unsettled conditions as the new weather front moves in.”