It’s far too early to tell if we will see a return of the Beast from the East, say forecasters.

Following reports this week that Britain faces a new big freeze this winter, experts say it cannot be predicted this far ahead.

Scientists from University College London have predicted an average temperature of 3.9C (39F) for January to February next year in central England - which they said was 0.5C below the 1981 to 2010 average for the same period.

After studying sea temperatures and air pressure over the north Atlantic Ocean, climate experts have suggested January and February 2020 could be among the coldest for decades.

This would be caused by the jet stream - strong winds that move weather systems across from the Atlantic to Britain - deflecting southwards for weeks around Christmas, allowing freezing air to dominate.

Wiltshire Times:

But the Met Office spokesperson said: “It is hard for us to comment on someone else’s research.

“From our perspective our longest outlook is three months and wouldn’t be used for daily or even weekly forecasting. It doesn’t reach as far as this research is predicting.”

Around the country, other weather experts have also poured scorn on the findings, with one saying: “Aware of some very dodgy articles doing the rounds at the moment.

“There is absolutely no way of knowing what winter has in hold for us at this moment in time. Eventually we will get a very cold winter and no doubt they will be taking the credit.”

So there you go, don't get the snow chains out just yet.

Wiltshire Times: