We could be facing more than two months of snow, ice and freezing temperatures as forecasters predict that the winter 'whiteout' could last until the end of February.
The Daily Star reports that temperatures are now even colder than expected and, as a result, government forecasters have revised their predictions: it is now likely to be "colder than average" until the end of February, rather than "slightly colder than average."
The Cabinet Office, councils and highway chiefs have been briefed that the risk of snow is worse than a year ago and a three million tonne salt stockpile has been amassed to prevent travel disruption.
The Met Office winter outlook now says: "Probabilities favour temperatures below average for December to February, with a shift towards colder-than-average values increasing the probability of well below average temperatures."
Met Office forecaster Dave Britton said: "The winter outlook shows a change in probabilities, with an increased risk of cold and milder temperatures slightly less likely. The potential for snow is higher than last year's mild winter."
According to Sky News, next week Britain is facing a weather front known as the 'Beast from the East', which will bring heavy snow and freezing temperatures.
Sky reports that forecasters are predicting heavy snow from Monday, that will hit East Anglia first, before spreading across the South East on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sky News weather presenter Jo Wheeler said: "People should prepare for the cold weather and allow more time to get to work.
"This snow could cause considerable disruption because of the accumulation in populated areas."
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