PULL on your bed socks and unfold your warmest pyjamas – it’s set to get even colder!
Temperatures in Hampshire could plummet to a record-breaking -12C (10F) or lower tonight as the big chill continues to tighten its grip on the county.
Forecasters warned that more snow and a severe frost are yet to come as the icy Siberian blast continues to freeze the UK.
Met Office forecaster John Hammond said: “There is the snow covering, light chilly winds and clear skies. This combination is like a giant fridge. You leave it and it just gets colder and colder and colder.
“These could be some record-breaking temperatures the south is about to see.”
Hampshire was yesterday dusted with flurries of snow as the county suffered one of the coldest starts to December in more than two decades.
Weather experts said that the county failed to get out of sub-zero temperatures all day, while shops have been cleared of warm clothes like pyjamas, thermals, bed socks and tights.
A lingerie assistant at Marks & Spencer, in Hedge End, said: “People have been going mad for thermal underwear, big socks and opaque tights and now we’ve hardly got any left. What we have got is swinging in the wind and we can’t reorder thermals because the warehouse has run out.”
Last night, the mercury dropped as low as –3C (26F), with Hampshire residents opening their curtains to thick sheets of snow this morning.
Today, temperatures are predicted to fail to get above 1C.
Mr Hammond added: “Although Hampshire has missed out on heavy snow, there is a risk of further flurries making their way from London throughout the day.
“It will feel much colder than the actual temperature throughout the day, more like -8C, because of the wind.
“A severe frost is due to set in. Temperatures in Southampton overnight might get down to as low as -6C while in the countryside these could plummet to -12C.
“Friday has a very wintry look with temperatures not getting much above freezing.”
But there is an end to the teeth-chattering weather in sight, with rain and temperatures of 5C forecast this weekend.
He added: “We are going to see a change in the wind direction coming from the English Channel which will eventually help to lift the temperatures. We are likely to see some rain at the weekend too.”
Meteorologists say that it is the coldest start to December in decades.
The coldest temperature in Southampton was recorded at -5.5C on December 13, 1981, while it was recorded at -10C in Middle Wallop on December 20, 1999.
But thankfully tonight’s chilly weather will not be quite as treacherous as Scotland where temperatures as low as -25C are forecast this evening.
The conditions have caused chaos across the county for pedestrians, motorists and travellers.
A spokesman for Southampton Airport said that although it is open and operating as normal, some flights have been affected by the snow in other parts of the UK.
At least five departures and six arrivals were cancelled. Passengers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest updates.
The AA was called to 2,500 breakdowns every hour across the UK yesterday morning due to widespread ice.
Councils across the county reassured residents that they are ready with the gritters.
Hampshire County Council sent out an army of gritting lorries overnight and community routes were due to be treated at 6am ready for the rush hour.
Priority one routes, which carry 85 per cent of the county’s traffic, have been gritted at least once each day for the past week.