Cars completely frozen over as snow batters Sea of Japan in freak weather

Dozens of cars have completely frozen over as snow has battered the Sea of Japan in severe weather conditions.

Unusually cold and windy conditions saw temperatures reach as low as -19C in the city of Vladivostok in Russia – the port where the cars were being delivered.

The extreme weather meant that Toyotas and Hondas were covered in up to six inches of ice on board the Sun Rio Ro-Ro cargo carrier.

Second hand Japanese cars are popular in Russia and there is a regular export market across the Sea of Japan, despite the two countries driving on opposite sides of the road.

Ship icing occurs due to a humid sea wind and sub-zero air temperatures which can lead to an increase in draft, heeling and heighten the risk of a ship's overturn.

It is quite common for vehicles to arrive in this state during the winter season and when that happens, sailors break the ice prior to unloading them from the ship.

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They apparently use everything from reagents to fire hydrants and even crowbars, with the cars sometimes getting damaged in the process as a result.

Local sea captain Pyotr Osichansky, 72, said: “It is December and the sea is rough and windy.

“Seawater splashes on board and turns into a thick [ice] crust. This year winds are much stronger than usual.”

Large crowds of people came out to witness the icy cars being lifted from the Panama-registered ship.

“The cars are so caked in ice you can't tell the type of vehicle,” said an onlooker.

The UK is also set to be hit with extremely cold temperatures, with up to 25 more days of cold weather disruption being forecasted by The Weather Company.

Temperatures could reach as low as -12C in January after a New Year's Eve that could possibly turn out to be the “hottest ever on record”.

Met Office Meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: "The record is 14.8C on New Year's Eve and that was in 2011, temperatures look like they'll be 14 to 15C so it is possible that temperatures could be that value.

"The average temperature in the UK around this time of year should be around 7-8C.

Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden added: "Further snow events are likely particularly during the first half of January."

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