Is Britain facing coldest winter in 100 years?

AOL Travel
Snow and temps of minus 20C: Is Britain facing coldest winter in 100 years?
Snow and temps of minus 20C: Is Britain facing coldest winter in 100 years?

Traces of snow have already landed in Chichester: PA

A real taste of winter is set to start tonight, with temperatures reaching between minus 3C and 6 by Friday - as experts are warning this could be Britain's coldest winter in 100 years.

After the floods comes the Big Freeze, with some experts warning the UK could see temperatures plummet to minus 20C in December and January, according to the Daily Mail.

Snow has already hit the ground in Scotland, and temperatures there are thought to hit minus 10C this weekend.

Leon Brown of The Weather Channel told AOL Travel: "Bitter northerly winds are moving south today and there will be a frost tonight as far south as the south coast.

"The lowest temperatures tonight will be in Scotland and western Britain between minus 3 and minus 6C with ice a problem after all the flooding. Much of East Anglia, Lincolnshire and the far SE staying just above zero with fresh winds off the North Sea and a few rain or hail showers.

"There will be another sharp frost on Thursday night, and this time the east seeing some of the lowest temperatures of minus 4 to minus 6C from Lincolnshire and East Anglia south to Hampshire and Sussex.

"During Friday showers over the north will move south across Scotland with some sleet and snow, especially on areas above 200m. These showers continuing south on Friday evening and night giving a covering of snow to the Pennines by Saturday morning, and possibly the north Midlands and even East Anglia too. Very icy by Saturday morning.

"The weekend staying very cold and frosty, but sunny in most regions. A few hail, sleet and snow showers near coasts exposed to the northerly flow. Most of the showers over the northern half of Scotland with a further slight covering of snow likely inland (2 to 5cm possibly over the Grampians ad Cairngorms). Some very low temperatures in Scotland overnight too with a 50% risk of them falling below minus 10C.

"The outlook for next week is looking a lot more unsettled again as Atlantic weather systems try to push eastwards. A spell of sleet and snow is possible in the north on Monday, but rain looks more likely over the south, then turning windy. A deep low pressure system is expected to approach the west by the middle of next week and then sink southwards introducing bitter easterly winds by the end of the week. The fresh winds though preventing night time temperatures from falling so much and so frost less widespread."

Local authorities say they are already prepared for a harsh winter, in an attempt to ensure the country does not grind to a halt with travel chaos ensuing.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, said councils had stockpiled 1.3 million tons of road salt and had "hundreds" of gritters on standby.

Peter Box, chairman of the LGA's economy and transport board, told the Daily Mail: "Keeping the country moving is a community effort.

"Councils will be treating as many roads as they can and have also installed and filled thousands of extra grit bins for people living in side streets, villages and housing estates.

"Highways, street-cleaning and park staff could also be drafted in to help clear snow and ice around places like shops, schools and sheltered accommodation."

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