This December is almost certainly going to become the coldest since records began in 1910. 'It's already a lot colder than the previous record which was set in 1981.' The Met Office tonight issued heavy snow warnings for northern Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and south-west England.
The arrival of yet more snow and ice increased fears that the four million Christmas parcels yet to be delivered would almost certainly grow in number over the coming days. Simon Veale, director of parcel and carrier management firm Global Freight Solutions, said dealing with the backlog - up to three days in places - was like 'bailing water out of a sinking ship'.
'This year, in Scotland and the North East, it is likely Father Christmas won't be coming,' he added.