The UK could shiver in the coldest winter on record – with freezing weather and snow storms forecast to hit in January.
New Year revellers will get a mild night of around 8C, but the country’s temperature is set to plummet in January as the Beast from the East returns.
Forecasters have warned that the cold snap from Russia will kick off a three-month deep freeze across large parts of the country.
The “Beast from the East” will bring snow and high winds to the UK, with a 70 per cent chance of crashing temperatures all the way through March.
And forecasters have warned of a “higher than usual” chance of ice in January and an “increasing likelihood of frost, fog and snow”.
But before the big freeze takes hold, Brits can enjoy a brief respite from the chill with a fairly mild New Year.
Mark Wilson, a forecaster at Met Office told the Sun Online: “On New Year’s Eve most places will be cloudy but there will be quite a lot of dry weather.
“New Years Day we can expect patchy rain in the west of the country and for the brightest spells to be in the east.
“There will be more persistent rain pushing into Scotland, we have a warning out for Shetland with winds of 60 to 75 mph predicted.
“For the rest of Scotland it will be windy but not as strong.
“Midnight will be quite dry for most places in the UK, some patchy rain in Northern Ireland and southern Scotland, but elsewhere it will be mainly dry but still quite windy in the far north.”
Revellers celebrating the turn of the New Year could also be hit by winds of up to 65mph on Monday evening.
The Met Office added that January will be “unsettled” and said “severe gales are possible” throughout the month.
A spokesman said: “It is likely start unsettled across most areas at first, with heavy rain and gales at times, especially in the north, where severe gales are possible.
“Hill snow is also possible, as well as snow to lower levels at times in the north.
“There is then a greater than normal chance of a change to much colder weather occurring during this period, with an increasing likelihood of frost, fog and snow.”
Meanwhile, with fears another “Beast from the East” is on its way, Coral make it odds on at 4-5 that this winter goes on to be the coldest on record.
Coral spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said: “We didn’t get the White Christmas that many people were dreaming off but snow is on its way and we’ve slashed the odds on a White New Year.
“Edinburgh and Glasgow look the most likely to be bringing in the New Year with the white stuff but it’s a distinct possibility across England too.
ODDS-ON FOR SNOW TO FALL ON NEW YEAR’S DAY
- Edingburgh: 6-4
- Glasgow: 6-4
- Birmingham: 2-1
- Nottingham: 2-1
- Liverpool: 2-1
- Manchester: 2-1
- Leeds: 2-1
- London: 3-1
- Belfast: 3-1
- Bristol: 4-1
- Plymouth: 4-1
“The UK has been spoilt by some very pleasant temperatures over the festive period but once 2019 comes around we are expecting the real winter to begin.
“It’s odds on that this winter will enter the record books as the coldest we’ve ever seen.”
Experts also said the deep freeze could continue for months, with below average temperatures all the way to spring.
Met Office spokesman Simon Partridge said when a similar three-month forecast was issued at the start of last year, those predictions came starkly true.
He said: “Last year there was widespread snow across many parts of the UK and temperatures were well below average.
“There’s a higher chance of seeing colder spells, and given that, as a result, there’s a slightly higher chance of snow across the UK.
“It’s far too early to say in any detail, it might be that parts of Scotland which usually get snow will get more, or you might see snow spread more widely.”