Britain woke to sub-zero temperatures again today, paving the way for another week of bitterly cold weather.
After a brief reprieve from arctic conditions this weekend, when many parts of the country were graced with sunshine and milder weather, the big freeze returned with a vengeance.
Last night, temperatures plummeted to minus 18C in parts of Yorkshire while this morning commuters faced chilly journeys to work, blighted by snow and patches of freezing fog.
Stephen Davenport, forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It was another very cold night and it has been well below freezing almost everywhere.
"Even London was close to minus 3C - it reached minus 2.8C in St James's Park.
"Only the Isles of Scilly and the far south-west of Cornwall stayed above freezing.
"It's been so low overnight that temperatures are struggling to come up."
A band of snow moving south across Scotland is likely to reach northern England later this afternoon, he said, potentially bringing more chaos to the roads as motorists struggle home from work.
Some parts are expected to see snowfalls of between five to 10 centimetres.
Meanwhile, central England and areas such as Gloucester and the Cotswolds are likely to see patches of freezing fog.
The lowest overnight temperature of minus 18C was recorded in Topcliffe in North Yorkshire.
Today the highest maximum temperatures across the UK are expected to fluctuate between a chilly 0C and minus 2C and there is no respite from the cold in sight.
"I think we might get close to normal temperatures on Saturday but we are certainly not seeing any temperatures rising above normal," Mr
"Once we have had a peak on Saturday, temperatures will be dropping away again."
Some parts of the UK enjoyed a brief break from the chill over the weekend. The mercury rose to a comparatively balmy 7.7C in Chivenor, north Devon.
But the Met Office has issued severe weather warnings in northern Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It said that people in Orkney and Shetland should be prepared for heavy snow and icy roads while Grampian, Highlands and Eilean Siar in the Outer Hebrides and Northern Ireland were warned of widespread ice on the road networks.
At least seven people have died during the recent spell of bleak weather.
They included two men who were killed in a motorway crash on the M62 in Humberside and two teenage girls who died when their Peugeot 206 collided with a Royal Mail box van in Cumbria.
The men, aged 30 and 56 and both from Nottinghamshire, were travelling in freezing conditions on the eastbound carriageway between junctions 35 and 36 at 11.50am on Friday when the crash happened.
Their silver pick-up truck was in collision with a white lorry.
The lorry driver, a 36-year-old Manchester man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, Humberside Police said.
It also emerged that the two girls died in treacherous road conditions, which police said could have contributed to the tragedy.
Grace Simpson and Jessica Lakin, both 19, were killed on the A595 in
Earlier in the week two Cumbrian pensioners in Kirkby Stephen and Workington 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.
Amid fears of essential supplies not getting through, Transport
Secretary Philip Hammond temporarily relaxed restrictions on truckers' working hours.
All but one fixture in the Scottish Football League were postponed - with Alloa Athletic's Second Division home fixture with Peterhead FC surviving because of its artificial pitch.
The highest profile casualty was Manchester United's Premier League game at Blackpool, and many other matches throughout the English
Football League and involving non-league clubs were postponed.
Councils said their gritting crews worked to keep non-motorway roads as clear as possible, but large amounts of black ice remained.