'Nightmare' winter to begin within three weeks
Forecasters have warned that a 'big freeze' could begin by early December - and we could be facing one of the coldest winters for more than a decade.
The Daily Star Sunday reports that the Met Office has already briefed the Government and road chiefs to prepare for a colder than average winter.
Forecasters expect temperatures to drop significantly at the end of November, at which time ice and frost are likely to cause transport problems and there will be a significant risk of heavy snow.
We last had a late-November cold snap in 2010, which kick-started a month-long freeze and resulted in 16 inches of snow in the north and eight inches in the south.
Figures already show that 2012 is colder than 15 out of 16 years since 1996. Based on January-October data, the year's UK mean temperature is 8.78C. As below-average temperatures are forecast for November and December, the overall temperature is expected to be lower than this. The only year since 1996 that has been colder was 2010, at 7.97C.
The Met Office's 30 day forecast warns of colder, drier conditions as we move through November.
Click on the image below for some wonderful winter wonderlands...
Britain's wonderful winter wonderlandsView all 10 gallery images
There's a white Christmas on the way!
Are we in for a freezing winter?