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The winter of 2009–2010 in the United Kingdom (also called The Big Freeze by British media) is an ongoing meteorological event that started on 10 December 2009, as part of the severe winter weather in Europe. A persistent pattern of cold northerly and easterly winds brought cold moist air to the United Kingdom with many snow showers, fronts and polar lows bringing snowy weather with it. The winter weather brought widespread transport disruption, school closures, power failures, caused sporting events to be postponed and 25 deaths.
The cold weather has been accompanied by high pressure and a lack of wind, which meant that only 0.2% of a possible 5% of the UK’s energy was generated by wind turbines over the last few days.
In Britain, the tradition of the “stiff upper lip” means you find a solution, even if that lip is stiff on account of being frozen. To wit:
Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.
Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.