Snow storms and Arctic conditions sweep across UK

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The Independent Online

Britain remained firmly in the grip of a big chill yesterday with freezing conditions expected across the country for the rest of the week.

Britain remained firmly in the grip of a big chill yesterday with freezing conditions expected across the country for the rest of the week.

Snow storms and blizzards were forecast across vast chunks of Britain as some of the highest levels of snowfall in recent years were recorded.

The worst hit areas were in the northern, eastern and south-eastern regions of England. While widespread frost was expected across the country, snowfall was predicted in southern England as well as the East and West Midlands.

Meanwhile, snow was expected to accumulate in particular in the North York Moors, the Yorkshire Wolds and the hills in Scotland.

The bitter temperatures, a sharp contrast to the comparatively clement weather of the past month, were poised to continue until the weekend, making it the longest cold spell this year.

"It will feel cold with a bitter north-easterly wind," said Joanne Grimshaw, from the PA WeatherCentre. "There will be a bright start tomorrow in central and western areas but showers will move westwards as the day goes on.

"The main problem will be a drop in temperature in eastern areas overnight bringing ice and frost. That could cause problems for rush-hour traffic."

The late winter cold snap has taken many by surprise in the light of the recent mild weather. Last month was recorded as the warmest January in 15 years.

The freeze was because of high pressures over Scandinavia and northern Europe combined with lower pressures to the west of the UK causing temperatures to plummet.

Drivers and footballers were among those affected by the bitterly cold weather conditions yesterday. Newcastle and Chelsea footballers were forced to play their FA Cup tie at St James' Park with snow falling throughout the game.

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