Britain's freezing weather looks to set to continue over the Easter weekend, with forecasters warning there may be no end in sight until April.
Thousands of people are still without power and transport routes across the UK remain impassable due to deep snow drifts as the dangerous wintry weather showed no signs of abating.
An RAF Chinook helicopter was called in today to help as part of an emergency operation in Northern Ireland as farm and families were cut off by huge snow drifts.
More than 3,000 people in Argyll in Scotland and the Isle of Arran were without power after ice and snow damaged pylons, damaging the electricity network.
Meanwhile, the severe weather was blamed for the deaths of a number of birds, including puffins, razorbills and guillemots, which have washed up on Britain's beaches.
The RSPB Scotland said it had received reports in Aberdeenshire, Angus and Northumberland.
Forecaster James Wilby from MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the wintry weather looked set to continue into April, with a new weather front moving in from the south west of England bringing the risk of more heavy snow storms next week.
"There's still a considerable amount of snow in the north of England and Scotland which isn't thawing," he said.
"Daytime temperatures will struggle to get above 4C or 5C (39F or 41F) this week but it will feel well below zero because of the winds.
"We're not expecting significant amounts of snow but it will add to the accumulation.
"Overnight and into tomorrow, eastern parts of Scotland, north-east England and parts of northern England will see more snow."
Farmers have been left counting the cost of the blizzard conditions, with many having to rescue stranded livestock at the height of the lambing season.
Meanwhile the Government's winter fuel allowance "cuts" have left most pensioners struggling to pay for energy as the cold weather bites, it was claimed.
Hard-pressed elderly householders find it difficult to make ends meet as freezing conditions persist in Northern Ireland, Age Sector Platform claimed, calling for an emergency payment.
The Met Office has issued yellow warnings of snow and ice for much of north-east England and eastern Scotland, with warnings of snow for the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East.
Forecasters warned of a "100% probability" of severe cold weather and icy conditions until Friday morning.
"Bitterly cold easterly winds will persist this week, bringing snow showers to north-east England and light snow flurries across other areas of England," according to the Met Office.
"With lying snow and partial snow melt during the daytime, icy conditions are likely during the nights."
The AA said it attended more than 12,500 breakdowns across the country yesterday, with more than 16,000 call-outs for the day.
It said it has dealt with more than 1,100 call-outs to people who have got stuck in snow, ice or floodwater since Thursday - including more than 150 yesterday.
The Arctic conditions are thought to have claimed a number of lives.
The body of Gary Windle, 25, was found by a farmer in deep snow in Brierfield, near Burnley, Lancashire on Saturday, while a woman died on Friday when her house in Looe, Cornwall, collapsed during a landslip following torrential rain.
Bookies Ladbrokes now has a white Easter as odds-on, and is offering 5/1 that it will be the coldest Easter weekend ever.
The firm has also offered odds on Sunday's University Boat Race being disrupted by ice on the Thames.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more