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Freezing Britain: Siberian front brings ice, snow and -16C temperatures (but at least these skiers are enjoying themselves)
Temperatures expected to dip from Sunday with frozen conditions bringing chaos to the roads later in the week
Commuters pictured battling through heavy snow in Leeds, Newcastle and LincolnshireAA warn drivers to be prepared for treacherous conditions and advise grit is ineffective below -9C
Icy gusts from the east will bring a wind chill factor of -16C next week, according to Met Office forecasters
Follows a week of transport chaos with airports closing and dramatic car crashes putting police officers and a boy of 11 into hospital
17:07 GMT, 8 December 2012
With icy blasts sweeping in from Siberia expected to send the mercury plummeting from as early as tomorrow afternoon, skiers made a rare UK appearance this morning enjoying an unexpected spot of glorious sunshine.
The intrepid winter sportsmen took to the gentle slopes of the South Tyne Valley, near Alston, in Cumbria, and if forecasters are correct there will be plenty more of the white stuff to come.
After today's brief respite, many parts of Britain face their first significant snow of the winter, with freezing winds, treacherous ice and sub-zero temperatures forecast for much of next week.
The Met Office has warned that snow will ‘march relentlessly’ down the East coast and by mid-week temperatures there will struggle to rise above freezing – day or night. In some parts of the country, the mercury could plunge as low as -16C (3F).
Forecasters said bitter easterly winds – dubbed ‘the Beast from the East’ – will arrive after a mild weekend in which temperatures could rise to 9C (16F) in the South.
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A skier enjoys the morning weather in South Tyne Valley, near Alston, Cumbria. Forecasters warn icy Siberian blasts will bring further bad weather from tomorrow afternoon
Making the most of it: Skier Nigel Rowell enjoys perfect conditions for a spot of cross country skiing in the South Tyne Valley, near Alston, in Cumbria
Chill in the air: A man walks his dog across the snow on the Pennine tops at Saddleworth Moor near Manchester this morning
Snowy stroll: A couple brave the elements in Southwold, Suffolk- forecasters warn worse is on the way with icy Siberian blasts expected from tomorrow afternoon
Braving it: An extreme sledger, protected with only a wooly hat, overalls and wellies, throws himself down the mountainside in the Peak District yesterday
Taking a tumble: But he went flying down the sheer face of Rushup Edge, and admitted he felt as though he had broken his ribs
Festive mail: A postman delivering letters, cards and parcels in the snow in Southwold, Suffolk
on, boy: A farmer and his dog trek through the fresh snow to a frozen
barn in Teesdale on a chilly morning.More snow is expected in northern
Magnificent winter sky: Horses graze on frosty grass under a glorious
sunrise on the outskirts of Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Life's not a beach: A man takes a stroll along a very white seafront in Southwold, Suffolk
The AA has warn drivers to be prepared for treacherous conditions on the roads, especially in rural and exposed areas where the temperature could fall below -9C when grit becomes ineffective.
Fierce winds blowing in from eastern
Russia will lash the North East after a fairly mild weekend, bringing
freezing temperatures and ice to test families already struggling in the
areas including Lincolnshire and Newcastle will again bear the brunt of
the severe weather, which brought misery to rush-hour this morning
after commuters battled through four inches of snow and temperatures of
Snow over Leeds and Leeds Bradford
Airport struck fear into holidaymakers yesterday with the bad weather moving
South-East down the country, hitting Ipswich and falling as sleet in
After a bright start on Sunday, temperatures will start to fall in the afternoon with snow expected in Scotland and possibly in other northern areas.
But then the temperature is expected to plummet, becoming colder and colder by the day as the cold front moves in.
A spokeswoman for the Met Office warned of the possibility of 'bitterly cold periods' across much of the country with strong chances of snow.
Temperatures are expected to reach 9-10C this weekend before dropping again sharply for the working week, with -15C wind chill factor expected in Scotland.
will bring a risk of snow showers, particularly in the North-East,'
added the spokeswoman. 'The West will also be cold and frosty, but
The severe weather
has caused mayhem over the past week. The Met Office released a nationwide
warning about ice on the roads, and families were told to take care of
loved ones in the extreme weather.
A man and two children were recovering after they were trapped in freezing mud on a seashore during a family day trip to the Isle of Sheppey, off Kent.
Snow sign of life: Walkers make his their way over a snow covered Saddleworth Moor near Denshaw, Lancashire, today
Epic journey: Intrepid walkers make their way over a snow covered Marsden Moor near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, today
Bright and beautiful: But deep drifts of snow make trips hazardous both on foot and using cars or public transport
Fun in the sun: Friends have snowball fights on a blustery Marsden Moor near Huddersfield
Mountain to climb: Southwark Council workers assess the salt and grit stores for the roads of London at the Salt Barns in Peckham
Cold comfort farm: Ponies in Teesdale, County Durham, whinny in the snowy fields as the sun rises on deep snow today
Dazzling: The powdery snow is soft underfoot as the farmer trudges towards the warmth, his dog scampering behind
Splendid location: Hilary Bridley walks her dog Alfie by Solomon's Temple (also known as Grinlow Tower), a Victorian Folly near the spa town of Buxton in Derbyshire
Majestic: Grinlow Tower, said to have been built by Solomon Mycock in the 1890s, looks haunting in the dawn light over the Peak District
Piercing light: The 20ft tower contains nothing but a staircase to the top, and stands 440 metres (1,440ft) above sea level
Whiter shade of pale: Sheep early this morning in Greenhow Hill, near Grassington, with a snow covered tower of St Mary's Church
just a snowman! Artist Ulianka Maskymiuk creates an impressive ice
octopus in her back garden in Aberdeen, the temperature is set to
plummet next week
From sea to snow: Ms Maskymiuk learned to sculpt with clay at art college and has now turned her hand to carving unusual sculptures from unexpected materials
Mud dragged the eight-year-old boy down as they walked along the shoreline under some
cliffs. His dad went to pull the boy free and immediately started sinking into the mud too.
IT'S COLD OUTSIDE… BUT WHY
Met Office observation systems have picked up a 'Sudden Stratospheric Warming' over the past few days.
can herald cold weather ahead. They occur when the usual westerly winds
in the stratosphere, between 10km and 50km up, are disrupted, break
down and even reverse.
This can burrow down to the lower
atmosphere over the course of a few days to a few weeks, reducing
westerly winds that bring in mild air from the Atlantic at lower levels.
It gives easterly winds a chance to take hold and bring in cold air from the continent.
Knight, a Climate Scientist at the Met Office, said: 'This is
consistent with the current 30-day outlook from the Met Office which
favours colder than average conditions.'
They managed to struggle out of the quagmire to shout for help, but meanwhile the nine-year-old girl began sinking.
She was trapped in the freezing mud for half an hour until Kent Fire and Rescue Service and the coastguard were able to reach her and pull her out.
watch manager Tony Fox said 'She was extremely cold, wet and very shaken
'This incident highlights how
dangerous parts of our coastline can be. Don't risk your life by
venturing on to the mud – it can be like
Meanwhile, Bambi the foal was recovering today after she was saved from death in a freezing cesspit in a remote field.
owners had callously abandoned her to die in the stinking hell-hole in
sub-zero weather but she was found in the nick of time.
say it highlights a growing problem of ponies and horses being dumped
because owners can no longer afford to look after them.
Bambi was abandoned in the cesspit in a field near the M4 at Chieveley, Berkshire.
She was spotted by local children Lucy and Nigel Burney, of North Heath, Chieveley, as they were returning from a school run.
from nearby Newbury were called because the long-haired, six-month-old
baby pony didn't have the strength to get back up again.
Jerry Allen, from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said 'A vet arrived and was hopeful the pony could recover and decided not to humanely destroy her, as is often the case in such circumstances.'
Charlotte Jackson, owner of Ambitions Equestrian Centre in Great Shefford, near Newbury, was called and said: 'Local people had tried to move her to their field but she was so weak, she couldn't move.'
Staff tried to get Bambi into a lorry to transport her to their stables, but she was so weak and emaciated that she collapsed, despite the help of five people.
Window to the soul: This beautiful flock of starlings appear to form the shape of an eye on Obridge Viaduct in Taunton, Somerset
Shape shifting: A starling flock like this is called a murmuration, a word that perfectly describes the rustle of thousands of pairs of wings
No way through: Mail Online reader Thomas Bereford sent in this picture of cars struggling to make it through a snow-covered road
Christmas baubles: A hedge in Sally Blackburn's garden in the village of Leigh, Surrey looks spectacular with its covering of icicles
Diamonds and pearls: The icicles formed after cars driving along a flooded road splashed water over the foliage and it froze solid on the narrow country lane
Heavens open: The Angel of the North looks out over a snow-covered Tyne and Wear as a harsh winter takes the country in its icy grip
on to your hats! Ferocious winds lash the country from the East and
North-East at the end of the weekend and start of next week
GRITTY STORY OF SALT THEFTS
Nearly one in six councils had road salt stolen last year, with highways bosses urging people to be on the look-out for thieves stealing grit this winter.
Residents are being asked not to buy grit from door-to-door sellers as it is likely to have been taken illegally.
As well as stealing stock from on-street grit bins and loading it into trucks, raiders also stole whole grit bins and their contents, the Local Government Association said.
Some councils lost up to 20 tons' worth.
With severe freezing temperatures and snow forecast over the next few days, gritters will be out in force treating a possible 80,000 miles of road.
Councils are concerned that opportunist thieves stealing salt, either to stockpile for themselves or to sell on the black market, could put pedestrians and motorists at risk.
'Another night and she would not have
survived,' said Ms Jackson. 'The firefighters were fantastic, helping
to lift the foal on to the lorry and then off again and into the stables
at the equestrian centre.'
named because she's an orphan and she was unsteady on her feet, is now
'responding well to antibiotics and has begun to eat'.
in Somerset are working to restore access to the world-famous Cheddar
Gorge beauty spot which is still cut off after last month's heavy rain
and floods damaged roads in the area.
The B3135 – the winding, main route through the gorge – has been closed for nearly two weeks.
Somerset County Council said today that until the road surface dries out, repairs are impossible.
Andrew Turner, highways manager said he had 'not seen it like this, ever', during his time working at the council.
'The trouble we've got here, is that
where we've got flowing water there is no fix at this point,' he added.
'We've got areas of carriageway where the tarmac is gone and water's
still flowing through it, and we can't make a repair.'
An 11-year-old boy is in a critical condition after a family Range Rover was hit by a freight train and three people were hospitalised after following a head-on crash involving a police car.
A 79-year-old man was found dead by his partner at 5am on a freezing morning yesterday in Angus, Scotland.
Age Concern has issued severe weather warnings, after 24,000 people died last winter from cold-related illnesses such as
hypothermia, according to the Office for National Statistics.
21,700 were in the over-65 age group.
was complete transport chaos, when snow of less than an inch in most
parts grounded more than 40 flights, closed schools and left major roads
Russian Deep Freeze: Weaker westerly winds mean fierce gusts are rushing into Britain from Siberia in the North East, bringing freezing weather and snow to our shores for the coming week
Five airports, including Stansted and Luton, closed
temporarily, leaving passengers stranded.
Forecasters report a current breakdown in
high-altitude westerly winds – known as ‘sudden stratospheric warming’ –
which can allow easterly winds from as far away as Siberia to chill
Britain and gave us the coldest night of the year on Wednesday.
The pattern caused the bitter 2009-10 winter, the coldest for 31 years.
Meanwhile, the Russian Deep Freeze hits Europe…
holidaymakers hoping to jet away today could see their plans thrown
into disarray after the winter's first heavy snowfall caused flight and
rail cancellations across northern Europe.
Heavy snowfall across Holland, Belgium and northern France has seen road and flight links affected. Airports in the UK were reporting a knock-on effect from the disruption, with KLM and Air France cancelling flights to Paris and Amsterdam.
A spokesperson for Eurostar told MailOnline Travel that passengers heading into Europe on the cross-Channel rail service today should expect 'minor delays of 10-15 minutes due to speed restrictions caused by bad weather in Northern France'.
Heavy snowfall in Belgium has seen the cancellation of flights at Brussels' international airport and delays to train services from France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Forty flights to Brussels' main airport had been cancelled as of 8am this morning.
The high-speed Thalys rail service between France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands said on its website that snow had delayed services and advised travellers to delay their trips.
Snow one is safe: And the rest of Europe was feeling the effects of the Russian freeze today too, with Berlin (pictured) waking to a blizzard this morning
Winter marvel: Frost forms exquisite crystals on plants in a snowy Schulzendorf, in Brandenburg, Germany
Il fait froid: Trucks are deviated from the A31 highway and parked along a national road following snowfalls in Fey, eastern France, today
Chill in the air: Heavy snowfall and high winds caused major delays and disruptions at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, today, with around a quarter of flights to European destinations cancelled
VIDEO: Sheep brave the snowy weather near Holfirth, West Yorkshire…
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