After the wind, rain and floods Britain braces for snow as forecasters predict coldest winter for 100 years

Temperatures are expected to fall dramatically this evening leading to rain in some areas turning to sleet and possibly snow

After the high-winds, rain and subsequent flooding Britain is now bracing for a big freeze as forecasters predict the country could face its coldest winter for 100 years.

Temperatures are expected to fall dramatically this evening, leading to rain in some areas turning to sleet, and possibly, snow.

The cold snap, which is expected to last into next week, could see temperatures fall as low as minus 3°c (27°f) in some parts of the country, potentially creating dangerous travel conditions, and causing yet further problems for already struggling flood-stricken areas.

Northerly winds, which are set to sweep across the country, are likely to push the recent deluge of rain away, however, the change in conditions will bring with it falling temperatures, frost and fog.

The Met Office is warning that areas hit by flooding could see icy stretches developing on untreated surfaces.

Eddy Carroll, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said: "The UK will see some respite from the recent rain but showers will affect north-eastern parts of the England for the next few days. People should be aware of the increasing risk of overnight frost, ice and freezing fog patches as the week wears on.

"As it becomes colder we will also see showers affecting north-eastern parts of the UK turn increasingly wintry, at first on hills but with an increasing chance at lower levels towards the end of the week."

The upcoming cold-snap heralds the arrival of a potentially freezing winter ahead with some forecasters saying temperatures could dip as low as minus 20°c (4°f) in some areas through December and January.

It is feared that the falling temperatures, snow and ice could case widespread disruption and transport chaos.

The respite from the rain, however, could be short-lived, as forecasters say heavy showers could return early next week, meaning more woe for already battered flood-hit areas.

The Department of Health has put out a statement ahead of the cold weather saying: "Low temperatures can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic disease."

Areas that are thought likely to suffer particularly from the bad weather include northeast England, northwest England and Yorkshire and the Humber regions. The Met Office warned of ice and freezing fog in these areas.

The Midlands also has a 30-40 percent chance of getting freezing conditions, with temperatures in the highlighted areas expect to start falling today and reach their lowest on Friday evening.

The Met Office said: "This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.

"As the wind becomes light [it] will allow sharp overnight frosts to occur and lead to lower mean temperatures.

"Northern and some western areas of the UK will become the coldest, and there will be an increased likelihood of ice on surfaces, especially where surfaces remain wet from standing water or run-off. Freezing fog remains likely."

Despite the upcoming cold-snap in Britain, today meterologists confirmed that 2012 is on course to be the ninth warmest on record.

The World Meteorological Organisation said that using data up until October, 2012's average global temperature is 14.45C, almost half a degree centigrade above the long-term average of 14C for 1961 to 1990.

The year is shaping up to be cooler than the average for the decade due to a La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific which cools global temperatures, although it is warmer than last year which was also affected by La Nina conditions.

But every year for the last 20 years has been warmer than the average for 1961-1990, according to three sets of data collected and analysed by scientists in the US and the UK, including one by the Met Office and University of East Anglia.

The Met Office said that, taking uncertainties over measuring global surface temperatures into account, 2012 is very likely to be between the fourth and 14th warmest year in records dating back to 1850.

Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey fans rejoice, series five returns later this month
TV
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Development Manager

Salary/Rate: £32,000/annum: M&E Global Resources Ltd: Description/Main Duties ...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Application Support Analyst / Junior SQL Server DBA

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor