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

Get your skates on! Best ice rinks for winter fun

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