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Big freeze to return after mild weekend

The weather gods granted Britain a weekend breather from the worst of the extreme weather, but plummeting temperatures are expected again this week.

The UK enjoyed a relatively mild weekend, with temperatures in London reaching a balmy 6C and parts of Scotland – where a low of -21C was recorded last week – creeping above freezing point. However, Leeming in Tees was expected to drop to -14C last night, and a second wave of bitterly cold weather will take hold of the country until the end of the week. Most places should be spared a repeat of the heavy snowfalls, but Scotland is expected to suffer again.

Seven people were trapped in a North Yorkshire pub for eight days. Drifts of up to 16ft blocked doors and windows at the Lion Inn in Blakey Ridge, Kirkbymoorside. The trapped were comforted by supplies of food, alcohol and coal.

Seven people are thought to have died because of the weather so far – five in road accidents and two of exposure.