Are we in for a freezing winter?

Are we in for a freezing winter?PA

This could be the first of many freezing weekends, as the Met Office has warned that we could be in for a very cold winter.

The Daily Star reports that the Met Office has just prepared its three-month outlook for government ministers and council bosses. These are no longer released to the general public but Daily Star reporters have seen the documents and warn that we should get our winter woolies ready as it looks like we're going to need them.

The report reveals that we should expect "slightly below average" temperatures from November through to January. And average rainfall combined with cold temperatures could lead to heavy snowfall.

More high pressure is predicted, which could cut off mild Atlantic air and lead to repeat of December 2010's big freeze.

The Met Office bases its winter forecast on past observations, forecast models and "expert forecaster judgement". The system also uses new software to spot weather patterns that may have previously been missed.

The Daily Star reports that two other independent forecasters have also predicted a chilly winter.

British Weather Services predicts colder than average temperatures with "significant" snow and WeatherWeb warned that, "Cold is the main feature of this winter."

After the travel chaos of winter 2010, the Local Government Association now has hundreds of gritters on standby to treat icy roads, with new fleets of GPS-tracked gritting trucks and specialist vehicles for hilly streets.

The Express reports that a LGA spokesman said councils in England and Wales had 1.3 million tonnes of salt in depots, which is double the amount used last winter.

Thousands of new grit bins have also been placed on streets and 'Gritter Twitter' feeds and Facebook pages have been set up to provide information about local services.

Peter Box, chairman of the LGA's economy and transport board, told The Express: "Whatever this winter throws at us, motorists and residents can count on council highways teams being well prepared to keep roads safe and traffic moving."

Make the most of the wintery weather with a visit to one of these ice rinks...

Get your skates on! Best ice rinks for winter fun
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Are we in for a freezing winter?

11 November 2017 – 18 February 2018

Life's annual open-air ice rink returns to Times Square with skating and loads more for 14 weeks. Visitors can enjoy a 4D Motion Ride, and there's plenty of entertainment in the Science Centre, including shows in the planetarium and live theatre. From £9 for adults, £7 for children.

18 November 2017 – 7 January 2018

The Ice Factor, York’s award-winning real ice rink, brings the Christmas magic back this season at York Designer Outlet.  The Ice Factor becomes the centrepiece for Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland’s magical transformation. A giant 30ft Christmas tree sits in the centre of the ice rink and an authentic British fun fair offers a variety of traditional fair rides, such as a carousel, a helter skelter and festive food and drink stalls, as well as the opportunity for children to visit Father Christmas in his grotto. Tickets cost £10.95 for adults and £9.95 for children.

26 October 2017 - 7 January 2018

Make the move from the Natural History Museum’s dinosaur skeletons to the ice rink quick enough and it’ll feel like a mini Ice Age! This 950-metre ice-rink is surrounded by some of London’s most iconic museums. Enjoy the Christmas lights above and the lively festive atmosphere of one of city’s most popular Christmas attractions. Tickets cost from £12.65 for adults and from £8.80 for children.

20 November 2017 – 7 January 2018

If you need a break from Christmas shopping, this open-air ice rink is conveniently situated in the middle of Winchester’s Christmas market at Winchester Cathedral. Glide and weave at leisure while the crowds mill about you and the Christmas lights sparkle overhead. On 30 November, a spectacular lantern procession is led from the Cathedral through the Outer Close. The colourful paper lanterns, made from willow and coloured tissue paper, are lovingly created by families in workshops during the preceding weeks. Tickets cost from £11.50 for adults and from £9.50 for children.

17 November 2017 - 1 January 2018

A true family favourite, Winter Wonderland returns to London's Hyde Park with an array of festive attractions including the beautiful ice rink. Don your skates and glide around the glittering ice rink set around the Victorian bandstand and illuminated with over 100,000 lights. From £9.50 for adults and £7.50 for children.

16 November 2017 – 2 January 2018

Skate in the heart of Bournemouth’s illuminated historic gardens on real ice under the stars at Ice Skate Bournemouth. This year, there are two extra features: Rinky Dinks, a separate ice rink just for small children and their parents, and Gliders – an exciting ice bowling team game. The Moguls café-bar provides a selection of winter warmers such as hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream for all to enjoy as a post-skate treat.

4 November 2017 – 14 January 2018

Following the huge success of previous years, the winter ice rink returns this year to the iconic setting of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion. This wonderful rink allows up to 250 skaters per session, with penguin stabilisers for younger skaters and a learners’ area for the unsure-footed. Whether you’re a skater or not, everyone is welcome to enjoy delicious food and drink by day or night at the stunning Rinkside Bar & Kitchen, which offers warm snacks, delicious lunches and dinners. Tickets cost from £10 for adults and from £7 for children.

15 November 2017 – 14 January 2018

Celebrate the festive season in style at London’s most glamorous ice rink. This year, you can enhance your experience with the Skate Extras, including Champagne and truffles or fondue for two in Fortnum’s Lodge. Skate at Somerset House has shopping at the Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade and exclusive Skate Lates with music from top international DJs. Find your feet on the ice with the Skate School and give children their first glide on the ice with the Polar Cub Club, or simply soak up the atmosphere at the rink-side bar. Tickets from £7.50.

17 November 2017 – 2 January 2018

One of England’s UNESCO World Heritage Cities, Bath has something extra to tempt visitors this Christmas. Set in central Bath in Royal Victoria Park with the stunning Georgian Royal Crescent as a backdrop and within walking distance of the city’s Christmas markets, Bath on Ice promises to be a truly magical experience. Tickets cost from £9.25 for adults and £7.75 for children.

24 November 2017 - 7 January 2018

With open-air ice skating, setting is everything. At Hampton Court Palace you can skate against a picture-perfect backdrop and marvel at the famous maze and gardens all silvered with frost. The rink is just outside the West Front of the palace, so you can enjoy stunning panoramic views and an enchanting Christmas atmosphere. Tickets from £14 for adults, £12 for children.

17 November 2017 – 7 January 2018

Children can explore a winter wonderland of frozen fun at the Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival this festive season. Combining a stunning setting, spectacular scenery and seasonal skating, the open-air ice rink epitomises the glamour of the urban ice experience. Visitors to Liverpool's Pier Head can enjoy a drink in the Ice Bar and experience the UK’s largest real Ice Slide. Tickets cost from £11.50 for adults and £9.50 for children.


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