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Britain facing snow and month-long winter chill until after Christmas

London Dec 1: Thundersnow hit Britain yesterday as windchill made temperatures feel as cold as -20C (-4F) – with London facing more snow on Friday and a month-long chill ahead until after Christmas.

Winter does not officially start until Friday – but thundersnow, the rare phenomenon of lightning strikes illuminating falling snow, was reported yesterday in North Yorkshire and near Newcastle.
Snow flurries hit across the East and ferocious Arctic windchill from near-40mph-gale-force northerly wind gusts made 1-4C daytime highs for most feel as cold as -8C in the South, -12C in the North, -15C in Scotland and -20C on higher ground in Scotland, data from the US National Weather Service and The Weather Channel said.
A drop to -4C (25F) was predicted last night in many parts of England and Wales. Meanwhile on snow-covered mountains in Scotland, the temperature could fall to -10C (14F), and -5C (23F) or -6C (21F) in the glens.
The figures compare with a low of -4C (25F) forecast for yesterday in Rovaniemi, Lapland, just south of the Arctic Circle, and 6C (43F) in Reykjavik, Iceland. St Petersburg in Russia is only expected to fall to 0C (32F) tonight.
A temperature of below -10.1C in Britain would make it the coldest night of the year so far. Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Met Office, said: 'Thursday is likely to be the coldest night of the week.
'However, the -10C temperature is an exceptional figure and is likely only over packed snow in the mountains. It will be less cold in the glens and further south in England and Wales.'
The chilliest temperature recorded across the UK so far this autumn was -6.3C (20.7F) at Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, early on Saturday. Last night's minimum was -5C (23F) in the Scottish Borders, while Exeter fell to -3.7C (25.3F). 
The Met Office said London and the South-East risks more snow on Friday after London's first flurries yesterday. 
'Friday has a risk of wintry showers in the far southeast,' a Met Office forecaster said. 
'After Tuesday and Wednesday next week, colder conditions follow into the North with wintry showers. Milder conditions are more plausible in the South.'