PORTSMOUTH could be facing a cold snap of bitter weather as the UK is gripped by one of the coldest winters in years, it has been claimed.
Snow may even hit later this month, according to national reports, setting up the country for a chilling couple of months.
Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden warned of 'snow after snow' with the first flakes coming this month, a report by the MirrorOnline claimed.
But the comments have been disputed by experts at the Met Office who said there were ‘no signs’ of any chilling weather on the horizon.
‘October is now looking like it will turn out to be colder than average with more of a chance of something wintry setting in through the second half of the month,’ Mr Madden said.
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‘There is a strong chance of widespread frosts and the chance of snowfall which will set the scene for November.
‘This will pave the way for what is shaping up to be a colder than average winter with some extreme cold weather events.
‘While these could start to make an impact within the next few weeks they will be particularly troublesome from December onwards.
‘Snow events have been few and far between in recent years, but this winter is looking favourable to bring snow event after snow event as weather systems from the Atlantic clash with cold stagnated air over the UK.’
However, the Met Office has challenged the prediction.
Forecasters there claimed October might actually be slighter warmer than average.
While a spokesman insisted there was no suggestion at this stage that there would be a repeat of the Beast from the East.
He said there was ‘no sign’ of any snowy weather so far, although it was looking quite unsettled in the next few weeks.
‘Reports of snow in October did not come from us,’ the spokesman added. ‘In late October and early November, there will be some dry weather and frost – not anything out of the ordinary for this time of year.
‘At the moment, the forecast for this time of year is warmer than average.’
Dr Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist of the Weather Company, was not so sure.
He said: ‘The first half of October looks quite cool, relative to normal, across Scandinavia and northern Europe, as atmospheric blocking in the North Atlantic forces cooler northerly flow.
‘The recent blocking may be a harbinger of things to come this season, signalling that the first cold winter since 2012 is a distinct possibility in January and February, 2020.’