As Arctic conditions continued to grip Britain, Met men revealed yesterday that some parts of the country were colder than those parts of the world we normally associate with cold.
As temperatures struggled to rise above zero, then gave up and resigned themselves to being in a 'minus place' for the next three or four days, a spokesman for the Meteorological Office said that the top of some hill in Scotland was colder than Malmo in Sweden. For a while, anyway.
"It's amazing. In the east and north of the country, it's colder than a lot of abroad places. I feel sorry for all those people who've jetted off to colder climes to find some much-needed chilliness, when they could have stayed here.'
As the cold snap looked like turning into a cold spell and there were reports of drifting in the Pennines, climate change scientists were quick to pour very cold water on claims that the Arctic conditions were proof that global warming was just two random words stuck together.
"Global warming is real, and it's happening now. Not just at that moment, when I said 'now'. I mean it's an ongoing thing happening, like, all the time,' said leading climate change scientist Ronald Perciman. 'Think back to the summer. For a few days in July it was hotter here that it was in some places of the world you traditionally think of as being hotter than Britain. If that's not proof of global warming, I'm not sure what is."
"No, I've thought about it a bit more and now I am sure I don't know what is," he added later.