Strathspey and Badenoch temperatures plunge as Highlands records its coldest night of the winter so far; Loch Glascarnoch in Ross-shire was the coldest location at -12.2C, while Carrbridge was in the top three for frigid temperatures at -11.1C; Sutherland, Inverness-shire and Lochaber also posted some of the lowest figures
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HIGHLANDERS woke up to a hard frost on Wednesday after the "coldest night of the winter" sent temperatures plunging as low as -12.2C.
The mercury plummeted widely across all parts of the region last night, and even fell well below freezing in some coastal communities that are normally spared the worst by the sea air.
The Highland Weather website (@highlandweather on Twitter and Highlands and Islands Weather on Facebook) revealed that the coldest spot was Loch Glascarnoch in Ross-shire, where the -12.2C temperature was recorded, although Brinmore in Strathnairn was not far behind at -11.5C, and Inchbae in Ross-shire was next at -11.3C
Other cold spots included the likes of Carrbridge (-11.1C) in Badenoch and Strathspey, while Kinbrace (-11C) and Rosehall (-11C) were Sutherland's coldest spots. Lairg was not far behind at -10.4C.
Daviot (-10.5C), Fersit (-10.2C), Rogart (-10.1C), Dalreichart (-10.1C) and Achnasheen (-10C) were also among more than a dozen Highland locations to hit double digits, while Loch Migdale near Bonar Bridge (-9.8C), Tomich (-9.4C), Drumochter (-9.4C), Altnaharra (-9.3C), and Tomatin (-9.1C) were just some of those which bottomed out below -9C.
Lee Schofield, of Highland Weather, added that the mercury even dropped to -6C at a weather station right beside the sea in Dornoch.
He said: "It was the coldest night of the winter. [It will be] less cold tonight but further snow showers and harsh frosts expected over the coming days and nights before things turn milder over the weekend with a strong westerly wind with some light rain.
"Milder next week with a thaw of any lying snow."
But he added that last night's coldest temperatures may yet be topped before that milder spell arrives, adding: "Friday night could well be as cold, if not colder but more so further south across the west Cairngorms area."