SCOTLAND is facing a cold blast with black ice and frozen pipes potentially affecting thousands of households.

Temperatures dipped to -8C at Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands on Sunday night and temperatures are expected to be lower than average for this time of year for much of the week.

Tuesday night could be even colder with temperatures potentially dropping to -9C in the Scottish Highlands, while daytime temperatures are not expected to top 6C in the south of England.

Much of Scotland will be facing below-freezing temperatures, according to WXCharts data, with Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayr and Dundee all predicted to record temperatures below 0C.

READ MORE: Stagecoach bus skids on ice and smashes into cars in Kirkcaldy

Some snow is expected to affect southern areas, which is most likely to settle over higher ground in Scotland and in the south of England and Wales where a yellow ice warning has been issued.

When temperatures drop, house pipes can freeze and then burst when they thaw out.

What to do if your pipes freeze and burst

Sometimes pipes freezing and thawing can cause them to burst. If this happens:

  • Turn off the water supply coming into your property at the stop tap and switch off your boiler.
  • Open all your taps to drain the system as quickly as possible, saving some water in a bucket for flushing toilets and hand washing. When the water stops running, turn all the taps off.
  • Soak up escaping water with towels to limit the damage.
  • Call a WaterSafe approved plumber, who is qualified to work on the plumbing system in your home.
  • If water has leaked near your electrics, do not touch them and switch them off at the fuse box.