AN EXTREME cold temperature alert has been issued for Gwent over the next couple of days, with warnings of frost and ice.

This is the first time Vantage Weather Services, an independent weather forecaster for Wales, based in Ebbw Vale, has issued such a warning since it was formed in 2006.

Daytime and overnight temperatures will remain below freezing with –3C to –5C by day, and –4C to –7C overnight for the next few days.

Temperatures will feel even colder in the windchill overnight with ‘real feel’ temperatures as low as –11C.

Severe overnight frosts are expected along with icy conditions.

Forecaster Jonathan Powell said: “I have never issued an extreme cold temperature alert before but the longer the cold is with us, the further the temperatures will fall.

‘The windchill makes a big difference with overnight temperatures registering as –11C in Ebbw Vale on Monday and continuing into the first part of Tuesday.

“To say the least it hasn’t been a picnic of late, temperatures- wise, but winter’s grip will tighten further with ‘real feel’ values taking affairs to new, lower depths.

“We can expect further snowfall, not on the scale of Friday but it is sustained and will add to any untreated snow on the roads, adding to the blanket ice sheet.

“Rain will be encountering cold air but there is hope for a recovery by the end of the week and hopefully the rain will stay as rain over the coming weekend.

“There will be a rain and sleet mix which will be determined by whatever air mass wins.

“The most likeliest scenario will be rain or sleet at lower levels, with snow over higher ground.

“Areas most affected in Gwent are likely to be at the top end of the A465 but no where in Gwent will escape the cold.”

Despite the sub-zero temperatures at the weekend, that didn’t stop people in Gwent getting out and making the most of the snow.

Window cleaner Greg Williams, 30, built a snowman 20-feet high around a lamppost on Lime Crescent, Somerton, with Ben Prichard, 28.

Children from the street helped the two collect the snow, spending all Friday building it.

“We went out there at 7.45am and finished at 3.30pm,” he said. An army of parents turned out in force yesterday morning to clear the snow from the grounds of a Newport school.

Following a call on Saturday afternoon, parents whose children attend Mount Pleasant Primary School in Newport, began clearing major school pathways and gritting the road so the school could open this morning.

But they didn’t stop there and soon turned their attention to clearing roads and car parks around the school.

The parents worked tirelessly for an hour, fuelled with coffee, which was supplied by the chair of governors.

“That’s my gym session done for the day,” panted Russ Thomas, father of school pupils Emyr and Meirion.

Deputy headteacher Andrew Rothwell praised the parents for their hard work.

Monmouthshire council said it aims to have all schools open today and has offered support to clear car parks and paths.

Refuse collections will start again today but will not be running as normal yet due to the backlog from Friday when refuse collectors were helping to clear the roads in the town centres.

Residents are advised to put their rubbish out as normal and the council will collect it as soon as possible.

All town centres, pavements and main roads in the county are now clear and the gritting teams will be working to clear minor roads next.