Mark Wilson, a meteorologist for the Met Office, said the snow was beginning to thaw. “The temperatures are getting warmer but it’s a slow process,” he said. “Despite heavy snow in Wales and the south-west, it is already starting to thaw there, and in some places in the south, the snow has completely gone.
“However, in some areas and in Scotland in particular, it is staying quite cold and we could see some further snow or sleet particularly in the east.”
Wilson said the weather would remain changeable and unsettled for the next few days, with temperatures hovering about 2-3C in Scotland and 6-10C elsewhere.
“All in all, if you don’t like the cold weather it is good news,” he said. “Looking into next week, it’s going to be less cold and much milder. Temperatures will be where they should be for this time of the year.”
He added: “There is not going to be a heatwave anytime soon, though.”
Some roads, such as the A66 in Cumbria and County Durham, remained closed as authorities worked to clear snow, but other transport services were starting to get back to normal.
Airports were beginning to reopen and train routes resuming, but some operators have warned of reduced or altered timetables. Network Rail said 14 train operators were still affected and urged commuters to check before travelling.
As the snow thaws and the cleanup operation continues, people are researching how to minimise disruption in the future.
In Scotland, which was badly hit by the extreme weather and where hundreds of vehicles were trapped on the M80 overnight on Wednesday, research is being carried out into “heated concrete”.
Geothermic piles, which are used to heat and power large buildings through plumbed underground pipes, are being studied by scientists at the University of Dundee.
The study is being supported by Transport Scotland, which said it could help mitigate the impact of snow and ice on road surfaces as well as helping to stabilise roadside slopes and reduce the risk of landslips.
A spokeswoman said: “Work is in its early stages but will identify the technology requirements, the economic benefits, and any limitations.”