Weather forecasters are predicting that the UK will be hit by a blast of freezing Arctic air bringing with it the risk of snow and ice.
The warning comes because a phenomenon known as Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) is currently taking place over the North Pole.
The sudden increase in temeprature high over the Arctic see’s the Artic air displaced with the likelihood that it will drift south over much of Europe and North America.
A similar SSW last year led to a lengthy spell of bitterly cold weather during March which was dubbed the Beast from the East.
A huge area of of high pressure built over Europe and fed bitterly cold air from Siberia over the UK and Sheffield was blanketed with heavy snow.
Although forecasters can’t be certain there will be an exact repeat of last year’s weather, they say the likelihood is that much colder weather is on the way.
Even though the SSW event is taking place now the knock on effect on our weather will probably not be seen for another two or three weeks.
This means that the cold snap will most likely start to bite in the third week of January and last until the end of the month at least.
The Met Office’s current long-range weather forecast states: “ By the third week of January there is then an increased likelihood of a change to much colder weather generally, bringing an enhanced risk of frost, fog and snow.
“These conditions may then continue to the end of the month, but some milder, wet and windy interludes also remain possible throughout this period.”