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UK Weather: This Year's Winter Is No Match For The Frosts Of 1963 (PICTURES)

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This weekend will see sub-zero temperatures, blizzards and icy conditions across Britain as an "arctic blast" freezes the nation.

It will be cold, very very cold but it has nothing on the chill of 1963.

That year the UK had one of its worst winters in living memory.

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A rather nippy Trafalgar Square

The snow started on Boxing Day 1962 and the big freeze lasted until March.

Lakes and rivers froze across the country amid biting temperatures and there were even patches of ice on the sea.

Huge ice boulders formed on beaches and blizzards caused snowdrifts up to 20ft (6m) deep.

The Arctic conditions meant thousands of schools closed, telephone lines were brought down and power cuts hit thousands of homes.

Temperatures dropped as low as minus 22.2C (minus 8F) on January 18 1963 in Braemar, Aberdeenshire.

Stephen Davenport, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "This winter doesn't hold a candle to 1963.

"January that year was the coldest month since 1814. There was snow everywhere and strong winds from the north and east. It was unremittingly cold.

"Most of England and Wales had a blanket of snow right through the month."

In February 1963 a huge snowstorm struck Northern Ireland, south west England and Wales.

That led to a fall of nearly 5ft (1.5m) in Tredegar in Monmouthshire - an "outstanding amount of snow", Mr Davenport said.

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