An early weather warning has been issued across the UK as experts forecast months of freezing conditions in what is expected to be the worst winter in half-a-century.
A combination of freak conditions including the most powerful El Nino on record and changes in air pressure over the Arctic are set to cause contribute to the icy weather, which could arrive on the south coast by the end of this week.
The forecast shows snow is expected to start falling in December and continue until March, although the earliest snowfall could arrive by early November.
A fierce Arctic blast will sweep the UK bringing the first snowfall this autumn in just two weeks.
Temperatures are set to nosedive this week as a blanket of icy air sweeps in from the east, with some parts of the country expected to see thermometers sink below freezing with frost and bitter winds form the east.
Leon Brown, of The Weather Channel UK, said: ‘The main theme for this week is drier weather but also turning quite a bit colder.’
He said overnight temperatures will touch freezing in parts of the country with widespread frosts likely under clear skies.
‘This is most likely over Scotland on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, but later in the week temperatures close to freezing in the south too by Friday morning.’