An incredible photograph has captured the drama of the ‘Beast from the East’ as it struck the UK - blanketing London in a thick layer of ice and snow.
The National Police Air Service for London posted the breathtaking image on its Twitter page as the snowstorm battered Britain - with forecasters saying more brutal weather is expected to come.
As the huge snow cloud swept across the capital, four people were killed in car crashes across the country and evening commuters faced knock-on delays during rush-hour and into the evening as as a result of road and rail disruption.
As Britain’s cold spell continues its grip, Met Office weather warnings for snow for much of the country are in place until Saturday, with snow showers and longer periods of snow expected into Wednesday morning.
Rail companies are warning delays will continue after a day of widespread cancellations and disruptions to services across the country.
Southern railway said disruption to services may continue until Thursday, with knock-on delays throughout Tuesday as trains ran at reduced speeds.
It and Great Northern have advised passengers to complete their journeys “as early as possible” on Tuesday, with more snow forecast into the night.
Southeastern railway also warned passengers to expect disruption into the evening. It is expecting to run a normal timetable with a small number of cancellations on Wednesday.
Greater Anglia said it was hoping to resume a full service on Wednesday but that there may be delays and disruption to services over the course of the day.
The Met Office is also warning of the potential for some rural communities to become cut off, and that power cuts and disruption to mobile phone services may occur.
Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said the UK was facing “an exceptionally cold” night, with the potential for the mercury to dip as low as -10C in parts of Scotland.
There is further heavy snow forecast overnight for the North East and eastern parts of Scotland and isolated showers elsewhere, he said.
Motorists have been warned to take extra care on the roads due to the snowy conditions, after four people died in car crashes amid the heavy snow.
Three were killed in a crash in Lincolnshire and another man died after a collision in Cambridgeshire on Tuesday morning.
And hundreds of schools have been closed across the UK, including more than 200 in Wales, 131 in Kent and 62 in East Sussex.
Conditions are not likely to improve for several days, with forecasters warning that snow will continue well into the week.
An amber snow warning is in place for the North East and Scotland from 6am on Wednesday to 12pm on Thursday, with up to 40cm of snow expected to fall during that period.
Forecaster Frank Saunders said parts of the country could see their “coldest spell of weather since at least 2013, and possibly since 1991”.
It is expected that the mercury could plummet to minus 15C by midweek where there is snow on the ground, rivalling temperatures forecast for parts of northern Norway and Iceland.
From Thursday, forecasters predict that another weather system, Storm Emma, will bring blizzards, gales and sleet as it meets the chilly “Beast from the East” later this week.
The storm, named by the Portuguese Met Service, will move north through Europe and is due to hit the UK on Thursday and Friday, and will be “significantly disruptive”, bringing the risk of power cuts and transport delays.