Forecasters have reiterated weather warnings of a four-month barrage of “potent” and “memorable” blasts of severe weather and snow set to kick in next month.
Swathes of the UK face the first significant and potentially disruptive snowfall for five years with savage blizzards threatening weeks of chaos.
In the past few days a change in air circulation around the North Pole has pushed forecasters to reassess outlooks for this winter with severe cold now looking increasingly likely.
Pressure between the Arctic region and northern Europe has weakened driving a switch from a so-called positive to a negative Arctic Oscillation (AO).
During it’s negative phase cold Arctic air tends to sink further south with he phenomenon linked to colder winters in the UK.
Experts say the cold is likely to set in at the start of next month with thermometers plunging further through December and January.
It has raised fears Britain could be facing a crisis similar to the winter of 2010/11 which saw heavy snow cripple transport networks and close airports.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said councils are monitoring weather reports and are ready with a stockpile of grit to keep the roads moving.
Environment spokesman Martin Tett said: “Councils are fully prepared to protect residents and minimize disruption with temperatures set to drop.
“They are constantly monitoring up-to-the-minute weather reports to make sure they can stay one step ahead of the weather.
“We are well prepared for the cold with salt stockpiled and a fleet of state-of-the-art gritters ready to be deployed.”
Find up to date weather reports for the UK via the Met Office website.