Thermals at the ready. . . big freeze could last till New Year and beyond with sub-zero temperatures, snow and icy 30mph winds
Forecaster warn that the cold spell could last for the next four weeks at least
Temperatures could plunge as low as -7C as the week progresses Glasgow and Edinburgh saw up to two inches of snowfall overnight, with similar amount in Teesside and Co DurhamBookies slash the odds of a white Christmas to 5/1 in the capitalPrince Charles visited St Asaph today to meet flooding victims following last week's extreme weather
03:02 GMT, 4 December 2012
THE big freeze will tighten its grip on the country today and last well into the New Year, according to forecasters.
After swathes of Britain woke up to inches of snow yesterday, the Met Office said the cold spell will continue for the next four weeks at least, unleashing sub-zero temperatures, snow, freezing fog and icy 30mph winds.
Forecasters said temperatures would remain colder than average for the ‘foreseeable future’.
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Picture postcard: Fields around the beautiful village of Ravensworth, North Yorkshire, which was left under a blanket of snow this morning
The Met Office refused to be drawn on the chances of a white Christmas but bookies last night slashed the odds to 5/1 in the capital.
In other cities across the country the odds were drawn in to 6/1.
Met Office forecaster Dan Williams said the arctic blast would begin tonight and last into the New Year, and perhaps beyond it.
‘Temperatures by both day and night are most likely to be below average during the next few weeks,’ he said. ‘There’s going to be a greater incidence of overnight frost and, at times, fog or freezing fog.
‘The signal for rain and snowfall amounts during this period shows a high degree of uncertainty.
‘On balance, slightly drier conditions compared to average are favoured for most of the UK.
‘Even though there is a drier-than-average signal for much of the UK, where rain does occur, there is a greater chance that it will fall as snow compared to normal.’
Up to two inches (5cm) of snow fell across Cumbria yesterday morning, with one and a half (4cm) in Teesside and County Durham and an inch in Albemarle, Northumberland.
Ruff weather: Skye the Scotty dog plays in the snow in the village of Ravensworth, North Yorkshire, which was left under a blanket of snow this morning
Arrivals: A record number of swans are flocking to Britain from Iceland to enjoy the recent cold snap – with more due to fly over in the next few weeks
Beautiful: This image taken at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Martin Mere Wetland Centre in Lancashire shows thousands of whooper swans gathered on a wetland
Walking the dog: People walk around the picturesque village of Ravensworth, North Yorkshire, which was left under a blanket of snow this morning
Difficult driving conditions: A motorist clears his car in Barnard Castle, County Durham, which was left under a blanket of snow like many other parts of the north
Beautiful: Snow covered fields are seen in
County Durham today after overnight snow that has blanketed many towns
in the north of England and Scotland
Trying to keep warm: Horses are pictured out in a snow covered field in County Durham today after overnight snowfall across the area and further afield
Misty: Snow covered fields in Consett, County
Durham, are seen today after overnight snow left the area under a
beautiful white blanket
Carrying on: A small snow plough clears paths in
Tow Law in County Durham today after overnight snow (left), while a
CrossCountry train is seen at Durham station (right)
INSURERS PREPARE 100M PAYOUT
payouts following severe flooding in Britain that damaged 1,800
households could total 100million, it was reported last night.
in Somerset and County Durham have been hit hard by the flooding, and
rural insurer NFU Mutual expects to pay out 20million.
Association of British Insurers said its firms are preparing for a
100million payout to cover damaged homes and replace possessions.
ABI spokesman told the Daily Mirror: 'Those left with homes that are
uninhabitable or really badly damaged are being given top priority.'
In December 2010 – the coldest December since records began in 1910 – schools were shut, the transport network ground to a halt and temperatures regularly dropped to between -10C (14F) and -20C (-4F) overnight.
The cold weather that year continued into the New Year.
While it might not be that fun for
humans to find themselves outside in the cold at the moment, at least
it’s an attractive option to another type of species.
A record number of swans are flocking
to Britain from Iceland to enjoy the recent cold snap – with more due to
fly over in the next few weeks.
These amazing images taken at the
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Martin Mere Wetland Centre show thousands
of Whooper Swans gathered on a wetland.
A full count of Whooper Swans
yesterday by staff at the wetland centre in Burscough, Lancashire,
produced a record number of 2,480 birds.
The highest previous count of the thin-necked large white swans was 2,100 two years ago, which also coincided with a cold snap.
Centre boss Andy Wooldridge said: ‘We usually get peak numbers of Whooper Swans in mid to late December so I still think numbers will continue to rise.
‘The recent cold weather has certainly encouraged birds which roost elsewhere to visit, allowing us to offer a fantastic spectacle during the swan feeds.’
Wintery: It wasn't just the UK feeling the freeze as this Christmassy scene showing snow fall on a square in central Strasbourg, France, shows
Out and about: A blanket of snow covers Scotland
as Anne Kellas (left) walks her dogs in Alford, Aberdeenshire, and
Carol Milne (right) goes for a run
Going outside: An elderly dog walker braves the cold and icy conditions in Auchinloch in North Lanarkshire near Glasgow, Scotland, while her pooch has fun
Work continues: Jim McDonald (right) clears snow
from outside his house in Alford, Aberdeenshire, and commuters face
hazardous conditions on the roads (left)
Eerie: Two men walk through Stirling Castle graveyard in Scotland after snow and sleet hit many parts of the country, with heavier falls expected over higher grounds
Spooky: A man walks his dog past Stirling Castle graveyard in Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cambridge meanwhile visited the Welsh village of St Asaph which was hit by floods last week.
More than 400 homes were flooded when the River Elwy broke its banks.
The Prince and Duchess spoke to the family of 91-year-old Margaret Hughes who died during the floods.
Rescue teams worked from the early hours of last Tuesday to evacuate residents after the River Elwy reached a record high of 14ft 3in (4.35m).
Charles has asked one of his charities, Business in the Community (BITC), to form a Business Emergency Recovery Group (BERG) to assist the recovery operation in St Asaph.
– THOUSANDS of motorists were trapped on a Russian motorway for three days after 3ft of snow fell over the weekend.
Field kitchens were set up along the M10 between Moscow and St Petersburg to feed people in the queue that stretched 124 miles.
Traffic had started moving slowly yesterday for the first time since Friday.
The Met Office last night re-issued
snow warnings for parts of northern England and Scotland amid the
possibility of more snowfall in the coming hours.
The snow is then expected to make its way south towards Wales and the Midlands.
‘We have a band of rain moving
southwards on Wednesday,’ added Mr Williams. ‘As it makes contact with
the cold air over the UK it could turn into snow.’
Temperatures yesterday dropped to
-4.8C (23F) in Santon Downham, in Norfolk, and are expected to fall as
low as -7C (19F) by tomorrow.
The big freeze will almost certainly
increase the strain on the transport networks and heighten fears that
Britain is now heading towards a record-breaking cold winter.
What you looking at The winter wonderland scene this morning in the Bathgate Hill near Linlithgow, Scotland, after snowfall overnight blanketed many areas
Moving on: A man shovels snow off a road in Muir
of Ord, Scotland (left) while a train pulls out of Muir of Ord railway
station after heavy snowfall overnight
Rainbow: With snowfall affecting large parts of
the country, these Highland Cows at the Gleniffer Braes in Paisley,
Scotland, seem unaffected by the wintery conditions
Wrapping up warm: People walk in the white town centre of Darlington, County Durham, early this morning after more snow was brought to England overnight
Early morning: Overnight Glasgow and Edinburgh
saw up to two inches of snowfall, with almost the same amount settling
in County Durham (Darlington pictured)
Darlington snow: Temperatures for the rest of the week across the country are expected to reach 6C (43F) during the day, but plunge to -4C (25F) overnight
Strolling along: The Met Office issued a low-level severe weather warning for the North (Darlington pictured) and East of England and northern parts of Wales
Visit: Prince Charles met with victims of flooding in St Asaph in Wales today
Concern: Prince Charles spoke with some of the 400 families evacuated from their homes when the River Elwy broke its banks last week
Sympathy: Charles' visit came as the environment minister promised more scrutiny on building in flood zones in future
VIDEO: Beautiful snowy scenes from County Durham…
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