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COLDEST WINTER FOR 15 YEARS; Brrr-ace yourself - cold snap set to bring more snow: It could be coldest for 15 years.

Byline: Helen Thomas

COVENTRY and Warwickshire are set for the coldest winter for 15 years as temperatures plummet and snow is forecast. Temperatures are not expected to rise much above freezing today with a cold breeze adding to the chill. And Met Office forecasts say snow is due to return today and tomorrow with temperatures dropping at night to a freezing minus seven. A spokesman for Coventry.'s Bablake Weather Station said if the cold snap continues, this winter may become the coldest in the area since 1995-96. He said: "Memories tend to be rather short when it comes to the weather, so it may come as a surprise to many to remember that last winter (2008-09) was the coldest winter in Coventry since that of 1995-96." The cold snap already caused major problems on the roads yesterday as people struggled to work. Emergency breakdown service the AA said yesterday was its busiest day EVER. It experienced quadruple the number of breakdowns an hour than usual and across the country had attended 6,000 by 8am. The service expected to have attended more than 25,000 by midnight. In Warwickshire, villagers in Welford-on-Avon, Bidford-on- Avon and Alcester had been bracing themselves for a very cold day yesterday after being told their power would be switched off for eight hours. Power distributor Central Networks had arranged to carry out maintenance work but with temperatures dropping below freezing they decided at the last minute to postpone the work. Meanwhile, Andrew Harrop, head of policy at Age Concern and Help the Aged said the cold could have a devastating effect on elderly people across the country. "For older peoplee protection against the cold is vital. Last winter's cold snap sent excess winter mortality to a ten-year highe with around three quarters of excess winter deaths recorded among people aged 75 or over." The charity's free helpline is on 0800 00 99 66.

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WINTRY SCENE... Jacqui Spurgeon walks her dogs, Thomas and Buddy in Keresley, near Coventry.
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Title Annotation:News; Front Page
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 5, 2010
Words:335
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