Friday, January 8

The Big Freeze

Nasa's Terra satellite took this image of the UK earlier today.

Britain continues to shiver under the coldest winter in three decades. Parts of Scotland will endure an overnight low of -18°C, while we'll enjoy a relatively balmy -4°C in London. We've had the central heating burning all day as we strive to keep the cold at bay. No doubt we're contributing to the nation's record gas use. Earlier today the National Grid issued its second gas alert in three days as demand was forecast to set a new daily record of 454m cubic metres. The current record of 449m cubic metres was set on 7 January 2003.

This morning we gingerly shuffled to work after waking to an inch of ice covering local roads and pavements. Yesterday's melting snow had frozen solid overnight, while two inches of snow cover lay undisturbed in every yard. You can see the view of our backyard above. The snow is still there this evening with more light falls forecast later tonight. Incredibly Garry and I spotted the neighbourhood fox sitting in the middle of our snow-bound yard this evening. He seemed oblivious to his surrounding and clearly had no issue planting his furry butt in its icy midst.

A snow-bound colleague at work sent the scene above from her garden. You can see the 15cms of ground cover now lying across the Western fringes of London and the Home Counties. The mercury's not the only thing plunging to new lows. Last night the UK Pound hit a 25-year low against the Australian dollar. Tonight one pound is worth A$1.71.

UPDATE: January 8
The National Grid confirmed that gas consumption hit a record 454 million cubic metres between 6am yesterday and 6am this morning.

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