Temperatures drop below freezing - but more prolonged cold spell still to come

Rough sea's along Tynemouth Longsands on the North East coast
Rough sea's along Tynemouth Longsands on the North East coast
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Temperatures dropped as low as minus 3C (26.6F) across large swathes of the UK last night - but it was not the chilliest night of the autumn so far.

Forecasters had thought the mercury could fall to minus 7C - colder than the minus 6C (21.2F) recorded in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, on November 6.

But winds that were a "little bit stronger" than expected meant that temperatures did not drop as low as predicted, although they widely went below freezing and large parts of the country have a widespread frost on Monday morning.

The coldest temperatures of minus 3C were felt across parts of Scotland, Gloucestershire and mid-Wales.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: "We've had three short cold snaps over the past three weekends but it will become less cold over the coming days, before another, more prolonged, cold spell into next weekend."

A minimum temperature of minus 4.9C (23.3F) was recorded overnight at Benson in Oxfordshire, the Met Office said.