Benedict Moore-bridger, Joe Murphy and Caroline Grant
UK Daily Mail
Tuesday, Jan 6, 2008
The big chill today tightened its grip on London and the South-East with temperatures hitting as low as -10C making it colder than parts of Greenland and the Antarctic.
The Met Office issued a severe weather warning for the capital as emergency cold weather payments for 600,000 people were triggered for the first time in a decade and only the second time ever.
Councils deployed fleets of gritters and the AA warned of a rise in the number of breakdowns.
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Ice formed on the Serpentine and Grand Union canal and fountains in Trafalgar Square froze up.
The coldest temperature in England early today was -10C recorded at Farnborough in Hampshire, while several other towns recorded -7C.
The Met Office said it expected temperatures to be another degree lower tonight in many areas of the South as an unusually large high pressure system continues to dominate.
The plunge in temperatures is 10C below the norm for this time of year and compares with -4C in the Greenland be on their way by tomorrow.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has urged people with gardens to help bird life by putting out water with a pingpong ball in it which prevents it from freezing.
London Minister Tony McNulty announced that pensioners and other vulnerable Londoners will get ÂŁ25 a week emergency help towards their heating bills.
This article was posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 5:10 am