Author: Press Association
The mercury sank to minus 21.2C (minus 6.2F) in parts of the Scottish Highlands - considerably colder than some home freezers - with bitterly cold temperatures everywhere else on another day of widespread weather disruption.
Icy conditions have again left roads in a treacherous state and caused delays and cancellations for rail and air passengers. Hundreds of schools have also shut again today, resulting in a full week of closure for some children.
The relentless cold weather has brought more havoc with dozens of big companies having their gas rationed after domestic demand soared to record levels and warnings that many grit stocks were reaching crisis point.
Manchester and parts of the Brecon Beacons in Wales saw temperatures fall to minus 15C (5F) this morning, with Glasgow reaching minus 8C (18F), Cardiff minus 5C (23F) and London hovering just below zero (32F).
There will be little respite during the day, with more snow for eastern England and temperatures likely to be pegged at or below freezing in all parts.
The wintry conditions are also expected to last well into next week as the coldest spell for more than 30 years grinds on.
Gareth Harvey, from MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "There is no change in the weather pattern - it is very cold and icy again.
"During the daytime just about everywhere is going to be zero or below apart from a few coastal areas."
The latest round of school closures have taken place in Salford, Northumberland and Gloucestershire, with hundreds of others shutting in Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
There is mounting anger on behalf of parents at the extent of the shutdowns, with criticism that many have been unnecessary.
School leaders also fear the prolonged cold snap could mean chaos for next week's A-level and GCSE exams.
The death toll caused by the big freeze rose again yesterday after the body of 45-year-old Philip Hughes from Slough was recovered from beneath the ice in a frozen lake in Frimley Green, Surrey.
He had been staying at the complex to watch the BDO darts world championship.
At least 22 people have died since before Christmas in incidents thought to have been related to the weather.
On the roads, drivers face more hazardous conditions as people struggle to get to work and the shops.
Some councils were forced to ration their salt yesterday as one of the biggest suppliers of rock salt in the UK asked the Department for Transport to draw up a list of priority customers.
Authorities revealed they were being forced to spread grit more thinly on Britain's frozen roads as Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke to the managing director of Salt Union, the Cheshire-based company which supplies two-thirds of the country's salt for gritting roads.
Transport minister Lord Adonis said of the wintry conditions: "They have been going on a lot longer than is normal, for even a severe winter and salt supplies are therefore under pressure."
There was more widespread disruption expected on the rail and air networks.
EasyJet has already cancelled around 30 flights today to and from airports including Gatwick, Liverpool, Belfast and Stansted.
British Airways advised customers to check the status of their flight before leaving for the airport.
Several train companies are warning of disrupted services, with commuters suffering not only a reduction in frequency on some routes but problems caused by broken-down trains.
South West Trains, Southern and Southeastern train firms were among those operating to revised timetables.
Eurostar was also running a limited service after the breakdown of a Brussels to London train in the Channel Tunnel.
As gas consumption soared nationwide yesterday, nearly 100 major UK firms were told to turn off their gas to help avert a demand crisis.
National Grid confirmed it had asked 95 big companies and industrial manufacturers across the UK to switch from gas to alternative fuel such as coal and oil.
The revelation came as gas demand was expected to hit 454 million cubic metres yesterday - higher than the all-time record of 449 million in January 2003.
Around 5,000 homes across southern England were left without electricity because of trees falling on power lines and safety mechanisms being triggered by ice weighing down cables. Most had been reconnected overnight.
And heres my blog from last year, its worth reading again.
Sunday, 8 February 2009
My blog this morning is taken from the Russian Pravda article written on the 11/01/2009
The real problem with all Council's and Government is that they have one agenda, and one 'buzz word', Global Warming(CO2)! If anyone had dared to suggest to them, at an earlier date, that we may experience a cold winter, they would have given you an icy stare, and quoted the Met Office's forecast, "this will be a mild winter'! The current shortage of salt/grit has been caused by the above doctrine, coupled with the fact that council's will only spend taxpayer's money freely on unnecessary GW(CO2) matters, and higher expenditure on their own salaries & pensions- the taxpayer's needs comes a poor fifth !