When Britain woke up on the first day of the New Year it was met with freezing cold temperatures, feet of snow in places and the promise of travel chaos.
And now, three days into 2010, forecasters have warned to expect continued snowfall for the next 10 days - bringing with it added stress for commuters heading back to work after a festive break and children returning to school tomorrow.
Yet as Britain struggles to cope with the freezing weather conditions, other countries throughout the world are also finding themselves in the same predicament.
SWISS ALPSA - series of weekend avalanches in the Swiss Alps killed at least five people, including a rescue doctor swept up while searching for a group of buried skiers.
But a number of skiers - including an unnamed Briton - were pulled alive from the snow.
Heavy snowfall and fog was hampering this morning's search for three people believed still trapped.
Authorities warned of 'considerable' avalanche risk after snowslides hit a group of skiers and then the rescuers who came to their aid in the Diemtig Valley, about 25 miles south of the capital Bern, on Sunday.
An emergency doctor who was part of the rescue team was among the four people confirmed killed there.
'Rescuers haven't been able to resume their search today because the helicopter can't get close to the site due to the bad weather,' said police spokeswoman Ursula Stauffer.
The three missing skiers were part of a large group that was skiing off-piste in the Chummli area of the Diemtig Valley when an avalanche buried one member of the party around midday on Sunday, she added.
Rescuers who arrived to help the skiers about half an hour later were hit by a second avalanche at the same spot, said Stauffer.
Officials subsequently launched a massive operation involving eight helicopters and 100 rescuers in an attempt to save their colleagues and the missing skiers.
Eight people were pulled from the snow alive, but three later died in the hospital of their injuries. One person was recovered dead. Officials halted the rescue and recovery operation at nightfall.
Stauffer declined to provide details on those killed until a news conference scheduled for late this afternoon.
Bernhard Scherz, an official with the Rubigen ski club who took part in the rescue, told Swiss website 20 Minuten Online that one of those recovered alive from the avalanche was an Englishman.
He had been buried under 8 feet of snow.
Separately, two skiers were buried in another avalanche near the town of Verbier close to the borders with France and Italy. One person was killed while his guide was rescued alive, police in the southern canton of Valais said.
The start of the ski season and heavy snowfall in recent days have prompted officials to warn of a heightened avalanche risk in the Swiss Alps.
AMERICA - Freezing weather gripped large parts of the United States early this morning - with no relief in sight for the rest of the week.
Wind chill took the temperatures in Minneapolis, Minnesota, down to -17C.
While the upper Midwest is used to frigid weather, the sunshine state Florida is also suffering freezing temperatures.
The Panhandle and much of northern Florida is under a hard freeze warning, the National Weather Service says.
The warning extended almost down to Tampa along the Gulf Coast.
Florida officials have been urging residents, visitors and farmers to prepare for temperatures near or below the freezing mark this week.
Along with the dangerously cold temperatures, residents in Montana are braced for blizzard conditions with snowfall of 12 to 20 inches possible across parts of the state.
In Chicago, residents bundled up on another bitterly cold day.
Despite the dangerous cold, some people ventured out - especially parishioners at Holy Name Cathedral.
'It's God first. Even though weather is terrible, we've still got to go to church,' Alez Alverez told CNN.
In the Northeast, the Weather Service warned that a large storm off the New England coast would continue to bring heavy snow to much of central New York state.
CHINA - Snow storms today have caused chaos in China's capital of Beijing, grinding aeroplanes to a halt and causing severe traffic delays.
Around 90 per cent of all flights were either delayed or cancelled, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
In addition, major roads in Beijing and Tianjin, as well as nearby provinces Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia, were forced to close due to the heavy snow.
The snow shows no sign of stopping, however, and temperatures are expected to drop to -16C in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, causing more problems for those attempting to returning to work after a three-day New Year holiday.
INDIA - Not a country usually associated with snow, India has experienced severe problems since Saturday when snowfall and a dense blanket of fog began to cause chaos.
More than 30 people died in cold-weather related incidents in Northern India over the past 24 hours, with 10 of those losing their lives in train accidents caused by the fog.
Meanwhile, 24 homeless people have also died in the Uttar Pradesh state since Saturday due to the severe drop in temperature.
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir were all hit with heavy snow, while Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi also recorded snowfall over the past 24 hours.
Flights from New Delhi were grounded or delayed yesterday because of poor visibility, Shashanka Nanda, a spokesman for the Delhi International Airport Limited said, before adding that conditions had improved today.
RUSSIA - A country much more used to dealing with high levels of snow, Russia saw temperature lows of a chilling -20C in Moscow today.
Those travelling on trains at stations near the Russian city of Vorkuta, attempted to continue their journeys despite the freezing conditions.
Workers also tried to sweep snow from the train tracks, but found it was falling too fast to clear.
However, two men making the most of the snow were Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who decided to take to the slopes in Krasnaya Polyana near the Black Sea resort of Sochi in southern Russia.
The duo donned heavy jackets and goggles as they skiied together, with Putin looking serious as the pair indulged in some seemingly serious political conversations.
GERMANY - The snow caused more problems with flights in Germany, with one jet veering off the runway at Dortmund airport in western Germany.
The Air Berlin Boeing 737-800 broke to abort the take-off due to a 'technical irregularity', but none of the 165 passengers and six crew members were injured.
The plane was not damaged but flights from the airport were cancelled or diverted for a large part of the day.
Airline spokeswoman Diane Daedelow said: 'A combination of the snowy weather and the speed the plane was travelling at forced the plane to skid off the runway.'
Over 30 flights from Frankfurt airport were also cancelled this morning
AUSTRIA - While they are much more accustomed to dealing with snow, even native Austrians were struggling to cope with the freezing lows of -8C at night and -3C during the day.
But one creature happy to bound around in the fluffy snow was a mix breed dog called Lotta, who seemed entirely unconcerned as she became coated in snow during her run in Unken, in the Austrian province of Salzburg.
Meteorologists have predicted continued light snowfalls for the upcoming days in Austria.
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