Metre-high snowdrifts across much of north and east England forced the closure of more than 600 schools and brought chaos to roads yesterday.
Forecasters issued severe weather warnings for the worst-affected areas in Lincolnshire, the east Midlands and northern England where drivers were urged to cancel all non-essential trips.
The Meteorological Office said temperatures would plummet to their lowest levels so far in this icy spell. They expected the north-east of England to be worst hit, with temperatures struggling to get above 2C.
Clearing skies would also bring ice to East Anglia and south-east England as well as central Scotland, forecasters said.
Police and RAF helicopters staged a joint operation yesterday to rescue an RAC patrolman who became stranded in extreme weather on the North York Moors.
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