© PA/NEODAAS/University of DundeeBritain remains covered from head to toe with snow end in sight...
As if dusted with icing sugar, this satellite image of Britain shows the full extent of the snow coverage affecting the country.

From head to toe there is barely a patch of land not blanketed by the heaviest snowfall in 50 years.

It was taken at 11.15am on Thursday by the NASA satellite Terra and transmitted to the University of Dundee Satellite Receiving Station.

The image gives an impression of just how deep with snow has been across most parts, including the southern belt of England: parts of Hampshire received more than 16 inches in just a few hours earlier this week.

Only the western coastal extremes, such as Dorset's Isle of Purbeck in the south and more surprisingly Jura and Islay in the Inner Hebrides, have escaped widespread coverage.

The picture also demonstrates how little thawing has taken place, as most of the snow lying across lowland parts fell on Tuesday and Wednesday.

That betrays the continuing icy north and north-easterly winds which have ensured temperatures remain low, pulling in sub-zero air from the Arctic and Scandinavia.

Temperatures early on Thursday morning dropped as low as 1F (-17C) in Benson, Oxfordshire, making it as cold as Moscow, while parts of Manchester saw the mercury fall to 5F (-15C). Even central London recorded 27F (-3C).

Up to 8,000 homes across Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire were left without electricity for hours after the conditions affected power lines.

Plunging temperatures have caused major transport problems as the snow turned to ice, with many councils warning their grit supplies were running low.

Most parts are expected to remain below freezing on Friday, warming only marginally at the weekend.