Will next week really be the coldest for 20 years?

Will next week really be the coldest for 20 years?PA

Reports today have suggested Britain is in for the coldest spell of winter so far next week, with some going as far as to predict it could be the coldest period for 20 years.

According to the Express, a Beast from the East front is heading in fro Siberia, creating blizzard conditions and freezing temps, with windchill making it feel like -30C in some places.

Some parts of the country were already experiencing -13C on Wednesday night, and forecaster are warning it could be colder next week.

The Met Office has released a statement about next week's 'Big Freeze', which reads: "Strictly speaking our weather is not expected to be coming directly from the east next week, but more from the northeast, tracking across the North Sea from Scandinavia, bringing cold north to northeastly winds to our shores. As this cold air moves over the relatively mild North Sea, the air will pick up moisture and become increasing unstable, bringing showers to eastern parts of the country as shown on the chart below.

"The showers are most likely across eastern parts of Scotland and northern England on Monday, and as the week progresses they will spread increasingly further south to other parts of eastern England. At first they are likely to be a mix of rain, sleet and snow, but are expected to become increasingly wintry in nature, potentially leading to some locally significant falls of snow, especially over high ground, including the Highlands, Southern Uplands of Scotland and the hills of Northumberland and the North York Moors.

"Although next week will certainly be very cold, especially compared to a brief respite from the cold conditions over the coming weekend, at the moment it is not expected to be as cold as the bitter conditions we saw back in December 2010 when temperatures fell to -21.3 deg C on 2nd December at Altnaharra in Scotland, which was the lowest December temperature recorded in the UK since 13 December 1995.

"Met Office forecasters will be monitoring this developing weather situation throughout the weekend and will update forecasts and warnings. This will ensure the public has access to the latest weather forecasts that will help them prepare, plan and protect themselves from the impacts of the snow and icy conditions expected next week.

"Met Office Cold Weather Alerts have been issued for the whole of England as the forecast weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients."

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