Seven trapped in Yorkshire pub for last Eight days under 16 feet drifts

The Lion Inn pub in Blakey Ridge, North Yorkshire, where seven people have been trapped for eight days
While thousands braved the cold to begin their Christmas shopping, seven people in North Yorkshire are praying for better weather after being snowed into a pub for eight days and counting.

Heavy snow showers and strong winds have left the group stuck in the Lion Inn pub in Blakey Ridge, Kirkbymoorside since last Friday, with little chance of an escape.

Drifts of up to 16ft blocked the inn's doors and windows, with the surrounding roads impassable, and to make matters worse, the stranded seven's cars are buried under nine foot of snow.

The group's predicament in the fourth highest pub in England continues as forecasters warned Britons to expect icy conditions for at least another week, with temperatures falling as low as -10C in the South East of England overnight.

Katie Underwood, 18, who has been a waitress at the Lion Inn for four years, said: 'It was really novel at first, and quite exciting.

'The snow is immense. Most of the windows in here are blocked up, but we've got a door open at the back to get some air when we need to.'


European Winter Blast Blamed For 40 Deaths While Flooding Devastates Balkan Countries

© Phil Noble/ReutersA motorist drives through heavy snow in Manchester, northern England, December 1, 2010. The snow and freezing temperatures continued to cause major problems for road, rail and air services on Wednesday
Unseasonably cold weather and heavy snow in parts of northern Europe have killed at least 40 people in several countries this week and caused major travel disruptions.

The frigid weather is expected to linger through the first half of next week, CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe said.

"A 'blocking pattern' high-pressure system has set up over Greenland and Iceland, basically leading to an atmospheric traffic jam," Wagstaffe said. "This high is steering Atlantic warmth away from Europe and instead directing Arctic cold down from the North."

In Poland, officials said at least 12 people - many of them homeless - died overnight, bringing the death toll in Poland alone to 30 over the past three days. People have also died from the cold in Russia, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, local media reported.


Snowstorm churns across U.S. Plains, Midwest

A snowstorm forecast to bring up to half a foot of snow to the northern Plains and Midwest churned across North Dakota on Friday, while the eastern shore of Lake Erie was hit by more lake effect snow.

The heavy lake effect snow that shut down sections of the New York state Thruway on Thursday, stranding scores of motorists, had abated and the highway was open, a Thruway spokeswoman said. However, another three to five inches of lake effect snow will blanket sections of the snow belt around Buffalo, New York, the National Weather Service said.

Lake effect snow occurs when cold winds whip up storm clouds off warmer lake waters, and can dump heavy amounts of snow along the coastline.

Snow was falling across North Dakota and the Weather Service declared a winter storm warning in effect through Friday in southern Minnesota, southwest Wisconsin and northwest Iowa.


UK: Transport Inquiry Launched Amid Winter Chaos

© Agence France-PresseGatwick airport is expected to remain shut until at least 6am on Friday
Travel networks were paralysed on Thursday as severe weather conditions affected roads, railways and airports while an urgent review of the country's transport systems got under way.

Britain's second busiest airport, London Gatwick, was closed for the second consecutive day due to the hostile weather conditions and is expected to remain shut until tomorrow morning.

Edinburgh Airport was also closed again this morning and was expecting to reopen at 4:00 pm this afternoon.

Hundreds of rail commuters spent a freezing night aboard an abandoned train and many other trains were cancelled in southeast England. Southern trains suspended its services today while Southeastern was running an emergency timetable.

About half of Eurostar train services between London and Paris, and London and Brussels, were cancelled today because of bad weather, a spokeswoman said.

On the roads, there were closures on the M20 in Kent due to hazardous driving conditions, while police in Essex, Sussex and Surrey advised people to make only essential or emergency trips.

Yesterday motoring organisation AA attended more than 11,300 incidents.

In Crawley, West Sussex, a motorcyclist was killed in a crash involving a lorry at 5:10 am, and a woman died after falling into a freezing lake at Pontefract racecourse, West Yorkshire.

The government today started an urgent review of how transport systems were performing amid criticism of Britain's preparedness for the icy conditions and a lack of communication to commuters.

Better Earth

White-out UK: Satellite pic shows nation under blanket of snow & ice

University of Dundee pic reveals extent of ice-covered UK
This striking satellite image shows the extent of the big freeze that is currently paralysing the UK.

The snow and ice almost completely covers the entire nation and the Met Office is warning of worse to come.

The University of Dundee Satellite Receiving Station captured the startling image at 11.45am today from the NASA satellite Terra.

The white-out that is affecting virtually the entire country is clearly visible.

The latest Met Office forecast confirms the snow and icy conditions have continued to cause widespread disruption across many parts of the UK as temperatures fell as low as -21.1 °C at Altnaharra in Scotland.

Met Office severe weather warnings are in force across Scotland, eastern England, East Anglia and the South East, where further snow is likely to fall.


Snow strands hundreds on New York highway

© AP Photo/David DupreyVehicles are stranded on the New York State Thruway during a winter storm in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010.
Hundreds of cold and hungry motorists were stranded on a western New York highway Thursday after an accident caused a backup and the idling trucks and cars got stuck overnight in heavy snow. Authorities said 16 miles of eastbound lanes along Interstate 90 were shut Thursday in Buffalo's eastern suburbs, along with a 10-mile westbound stretch. Matt Welling was hauling a double tractor-trailer full of groceries when traffic came to a standstill a few miles east of Buffalo.

He spent the night "sitting back, playing a little Solitaire on the computer, taking a nap," the Wegmans driver said at midmorning, 8 1/2 hours into his wait. "I'm pretty chilly, hungry. A nice cup of coffee would do pretty well right now," he said by cell phone. State Trooper Daniel Golinski said the highway was closed shortly before 3 a.m. Thursday after vehicles backed up behind a truck accident were buried in blowing snow. The truck jackknifed around 8 p.m. Wednesday and has been removed, but crews were still working Thursday to free the stranded vehicles, Golinski said. "There's a lot of work to do yet," he said.

The storm buried the southern neighborhoods of Buffalo and the city's southern and eastern suburbs under two feet of snow, but largely spared downtown. "Very, very light flurries are blowing in the air, but streets downtown are pavement. Maybe an inch is on the ground," police spokesman Michael DeGeorge said from headquarters.


UK: Millions endure second nightmare journey home from work as forecasters predict eight inches of snow tonight

© PACrawling along: Motorists edge their way forward in the centre of York today
  • Woman dies after falling into freezing lake in West Yorkshire
  • Body of man in his 50s pulled from stream in Surrey
  • Eight inches of snow forecast tonight for London and South East
  • 900 flights cancelled as Gatwick and Edinburgh airports close
  • Shops running out of basics as lorries struggle to deliver
  • Passengers stranded overnight on freezing trains in South East
  • Police advise people not to go out unless absolutely necessary
  • Temperatures set to fall to -6c, with winds making it feel even colder
Britain's workforce was tonight embroiled in a second night of snow chaos with forecasters warning there is worse to come.

Police in several counties have been urging people to leave work early - with up to eight more inches of snow predicted in London and the South East tonight.

Eurostar said that half of its services would be cancelled today. It advised passengers to only make essential journeys.

Bizarro Earth

US: Winds lash the East, knock out power; roads flood

© AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey WelshPeggy Gaines looks at what is left of an awning and fence at her home in Prattville, Ala. following a severe storm on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010.
New York - Wind-whipped rain knocked out power Wednesday to thousands along the East Coast, closed the Statue of Liberty and delayed flights at three major airports. At least three people were killed.

Tornado watches were issued for parts of the Virginias, and sandbags were handed out in Washington, D.C., to protect homes from flooding. Thousands were without electricity in the mid-Atlantic region and New York, and some schools delayed openings.

Suspected tornadoes have touched down from Louisiana to South Carolina since Monday as part of the storm system, which reached the Northeast late Wednesday, with colder air turning the rain into snow.


Heavy snow causes flight chaos in UK

© ReutersFlights cancelled ... planes sit on the tarmac at Gatwick Airport
Heavy snow grounded all flights at London's Gatwick Airport on Wednesday in the worst early winter weather to hit Britain in almost two decades which could cost the economy billions of pounds.

British insurer RSA warned that bad weather in the run up to Christmas would have a major impact on the economy and could lead to significant losses for struggling businesses.

"This cold front couldn't come at a worse time for the UK," said David Greaves, director of RSA.

"If we lose just one fifth of our daily GDP through companies not being able to open and people cancelling spending plans on events and shopping, we're looking at about £1.2 billion every working day," he said.


Heavy snow hits airports and roads across Europe

© AFPHeavy snow is pictured on cars in Linlithgow, in Scotland, on November 30, 2010. The earliest widespread snowfall of a British winter since 1993 blanketed Scotland and northeast England at the weekend and the freezing weather has started moving down England's east coast.
Snow and freezing temperatures severely disrupted airports in Germany and Britain and caused chaos and deaths on roads across Europe on Tuesday. More than 200 flights were cancelled at Frankfurt airport in Germany, the continent's third busiest, while southern German states were blanketed by snow. Large parts of Poland were covered in thick snow, causing hundreds of accidents on the roads and at least four people were killed on snowbound roads in the Czech Republic.

It was so cold in France that electricity network RTE warned of cuts in the supply as the country looked set to top record demand levels while 20 percent of high-speed train services to the hard hit southeast were cancelled. Switzerland suffered its coldest November night for 45 years as temperatures plunged below minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit), according to national weather service Meteosuisse. Even Spain and Portugal were shivering after snow fell in the northern half of the Iberian peninsula.

Britain has been taken by surprise by its earliest widespread snowfall since 1993, forcing hundreds of schools in Scotland and rural parts of England to close and causing treacherous conditions on roads and at smaller airports. Scotland and northeast England had fresh snowfall and the freezing weather has started moving down England's east coast while London had its first sprinkling of snow this winter. London City Airport, a popular departure point for business travellers, was forced at one point to suspend all flights because of snow and ice before resuming with a heavily interrupted service.