Forecasters are predicting the longest winter in 50 years will hit Britain this year. Here, the St Helens Reporter looks back five years ago when the town was brought to a complete standstill by snow.
On December 17, 2010, a thick blanket of snow hit St Helens and large swathes of the country.
The extreme snowfall, the worst in this country for decades, closed roads and brought trains and motorways to a standstill.
We asked the St Helens Reporter team for their memories of that night.
Re-live the snowmageddon and let us know your own stories from December 2010.
Andy Moffatt - news editor
“Despite plenty of bad weather in the preceding days the amount of disruption to the travel network only dawned on most people when it was way too late.
“Sadly, I was firmly in that camp and only decided to cut my losses and leave the office early when the drifts were already building up. One colleague scoffed at my throwing in the towel, “There’s no need to panic, it’s just snow”. How wrong can you be?
“On an ordinary day, my commute will take around 45 to 50 minutes. Ten minutes in and it became clear this journey would be anything but ordinary. Five minutes later, I was trapped on the carnage that had become the M6.
“That was where I would stay for the next four hours. I limped home freezing and exhausted. Two things lifted my mood, though. The sight of gleeful gangs of children yomping through streets piled high with mountains of snow, followed, several hours later, by a phone call from my oh-so-confident colleague reporting his eight hour, journey from hell to get home.”
Natalie Walker - reporter
“I was out with friends on the Friday night and was hoping to get the last train home to Preston. The front door of Wigan North Western station was closed and people were stood outside queuing for taxis, as it appeared most trains had been cancelled.
“I was a in a panic as I had no way to get to Preston, especially with the roads were in chaos. I had heard stories of people being stranded on the motorway.
“I tried the side door and went to my platform to find the train had been delayed by 20 minutes - not bad considering I didn’t think I would get home at all.”
James Illingworth - reporter
“My wife had been on her work’s Christmas Do and a group of them were stranded in town because no taxis were prepared to come out in the snow. They all had to crash at a colleague’s house who lived near to the town centre.
“The next morning I was called out on a rescue mission to take some Arctic expedition clothing so we could walk home.
“The roads were in a right state and cars had been abandoned halfway up a steep hill by my house because the drivers couldn’t make it up the incline in the snow. It took days for those cars to be recovered.”
What happened to you during the big 2010 freeze? Did you get snowed in or stuck in the cold? Send us your stories and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org