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Part of the River Thames freezes over as UK’s sub-zero weather continues

More snow is expected across Britain this weekend after parts of the River Thames in London froze over for the first time in more than a decade on Thursday night.

The country experienced its coldest February night for a quarter of a century this week, with temperatures plummeting to below -20C in some areas due to Storm Darcy.

Temperatures in London dropped to -2C on Thursday night as Storm Darcy – dubbed “The Beast of the East 2” – sent the mercury tumbling.

As a result of the bitter chill from the Baltic, a large section of the Thames froze over in Teddington, south west London.

The extreme freeze meant the UK experienced the coldest February night for 25 years – with temperatures plummeting to below -20C in some parts of the country.

The temperature at Braemar weather station in Scotland of -23.0°C was the lowest recorded in the UK since 1995.

The rare sight of a frozen Thames was captured by a member of Teddington’s local RNLI crew.

A spokeswoman for the RNLI joked they might have to use a smaller boat to break the ice before rescue crews could take to the water.

Parts of the River Thames froze over this week as temperatures plunged across the country (swns)
Seagulls perch on the ice at Teddington Lock on Friday after the River Thames froze over (swns)

She said: “It’s not often the Thames freezes over in Teddington. We might have to use the D class [inflatable] lifeboat as an icebreaker.

“It’s quite spectacular. I’ve lived here for 13 years and I’ve not seen this part of the river freeze like this.”

The large section of frozen river is in the mouth of Teddington Lock on the non-tidal side, where the water flows slower than the rest of the adjoining Thames.

The Thames has completely frozen over in the past, the last time being in January 1963 – the coldest winter for more than 200 years that brought blizzards, snow drifts and temperatures of -20C.

However, forecasters have predicted that milder conditions will be on the way soon, with temperatures expected to rise towards double figures into next week.

“For the past week the UK has been in a very cold airmass with temperatures well below average, this will change through the weekend as milder air moves in from the Atlantic and pushes that cold airmass out into the North Sea,” Neil Armstrong, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said.

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