Temperatures plunge to -11C overnight - the coldest night of the year so far - with a week of snow, ice and freezing conditions ahead

An amber weather warning has been issued across most of the UK until midday on Thursday. Temperatures fell to at least minus 11C in the Highlands overnight and into the morning in parts of inland Scotland and forecasters have warned there will be no respite from the plummeting mercury. Temperatures have only dropped as low as -9C this year in the Highland village of Cromdale. But it was not the coldest night in three years as predicted by forecaster as temperatures were expected to plummet to -15C - last hit in February 2012 at Holbeach, Lincolnshire. Motorists have been urged to take care as police in Devon and Cornwall dealt with 21 crashes in two hours yesterday due to the 'treacherous' conditions. Pictured: A gritter spreads on the snowy roads of Queensbury in West Yorkshire (centre) while a woman enjoys a spot of sledging following heavy snowfall in Queen's park, Glasgow (top right).