Battered Britain braces itself for return of big chill
After a brief reprieve from the bitterly cold weather, UK forecasters warned the big chill would return tonight as weather conditions were set to plunge back into sub-zero temperatures.
Sunny spells graced many parts of Britain yesterday giving the snow a chance to thaw. The mercury rose to a comparatively balmy 7.7C in north Devon.
However, forecasters warned that sub-zero temperatures would be back across Britain tonight and could last for most of the week.
Temperatures are set to plummet overnight and could reach as low as -12C, with more snowfall also expected in Scotland and northern England.
"A band of snow is moving south across Scotland overnight and some western areas could see several centimetres fall," said Tom Tobler, forecaster for MeteoGroup,
"Today it will slowly move into northern England.
"Overnight it will be well below zero in most areas. Some coastal spots will just stay just above zero but it is going to be very cold across all of Britain tonight.
"It will be cold tomorrow and it will stay cold for most of the week."
It emerged yesterday that at least seven people have died in the UK during the bleak weather period.
They include two men, aged 30 and 56, who were killed in a motorway crash on Friday morning in Humberside and two teenage girls, Grace Simpson and Jessica Lakin, both 19, who died in a crash in Cumbria.
The men's silver pick-up truck was in collision with a white lorry.
The lorry driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, police said.
It also emerged yesterday the two girls' deaths happened in treacherous road conditions.
Earlier in the week two Cumbrian pensioners died after falling in their gardens where they spent hours lying in sub-zero temperatures until they were found.
And a good Samaritan who stopped his car to help a stranded motorist in the Yorkshire Dales was killed when he was struck by another vehicle.