UK is as cold as the South Pole

At -21c UK is as cold as the South Pole: Biggest freeze for 30 years wreaks havoc (and there are 10 more days to come)

Deep freeze Britain was as cold as the South Pole as temperatures plummeted to a staggering minus 21c.

Amid increasing fears of an energy crisis, the country is locked in the biggest chill for nearly 30 years.

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.

Last night forecasters gave a grim warning of worse to come, with strong winds blowing in to add wind chill to already below-zero temperatures which could continue for at least ten more days.

The prediction came as the worst cold spell since the winter of 1981-82 continued to cause chaos.

  • Factories had their energy supplies cut off as the severe weather and woefully fragile power infrastructure led to 1970s-style rationing;
  • Education chiefs warned that hundreds of thousands of children could be forced to miss exams;
  • Travellers faced a third day of delays as airlines struggled to recover from airport closures;
  • Ministers were criticised for not implementing a report after last winter’s big chill which could have left councils with increased gritting supplies;
  • Millions of workers were told they would lose a day’s pay if they did not get into work.

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