Freak changes in the composition of space around the sun are about to drive a chain of meteorological events locking the UK into a savage early Arctic freeze, it has been claimed.
The so-called solar corona has become dotted with holes on its Earth-facing side threatening serious knock-on effects to the flow of the jet stream and the weather this winter.
Temperatures are expected to nosedive towards the end of October bringing ‘substantial snowfall’ across Scotland, northern and central England.
It could herald the start of a four-month Polar assault with snow and sub-zero temperatures threatening to grip the nation until February.
Britain could be facing a worse freeze than that wrought by the Beast from the East which brought swathes of the country to a shivering standstill earlier this year.
Despite forecasts for milder conditions over the next few days forecasters are sounding alarm bells for the mercury to plummet within weeks.
WeatherAction’s Piers Corbyn said: “We are expecting some quite severe snowfall before the end of this month and it will not just be confined to the far north, this could reach parts of the Midlands or even further south.
“This spell of very cold weather looks like bringing substantial snow to a more widespread area of the country than people would necessarily expect at this time of year.
“We are also forecasting some very low temperatures, we could see the record for October broken this year.”
Changes in the structure of the ‘plasma layer’ around the sun will trigger wild deviations in the flow of the jet stream, he warned.
This will encourage freezing cold air over the North Pole to spill southwards and edge into northern Europe – a so-called displaced Polar Vortex.
Several of these events are expected to plunge Britain into freezing conditions through the coming months, Mr Corbyn added.
He said: “Again we are looking at a wildly meandering jet stream driven by the onset of a period of active Earth-facing solar coronal holes.
“These are not uncommon but this year is unusual in that they are facing the Earth and they are quite large, this could have a significant effect on the weather in the UK this winter.
“All of this will affect the air over the North Pole and we could be looking at some pretty decent Polar Vortexes throughout winter which will have a significant effect on temperatures and snowfall.
“We could get several repeats of the severe cold weather which we saw earlier this year, or depending on when they happen, they could turn out to be worse.
“We are expecting the really severe weather from the end of November onwards, so we are definitely looking at an early onset of severe winter weather this year with near-record or record low temperatures throughout the season.”
Other long-range forecasters agree Britain could be facing an unusually harsh winter this year with the first big freeze likely to grip the nation freakishly early.
Bitter cold weather will be given an extra boost of misery by a barrage of Arctic storms set to hammer the country.
While snowfall this month may be confined to high ground, flurries will start to affect lower regions before the start of winter, according to some experts.
Exacta Weather’s James Madden said November threatens a hellish cocktail of freezing temperatures, storms and howling gales.
The mercury will plunge further towards the official start of winter in December with parts of the nation even facing US-style ice storms, he added.
He said: “A notable pattern change towards the end of October will see a drop off in temperatures and the snow risk will significantly increase with some notable wintry weather and potential blizzards developing across higher ground in many parts of the far north.
“November will bring a very mixed bag of weather, and combined with unusually low temperatures we could see everything including swings from mild to very cold, strong winds and snow.
“The second half of the month will turn colder still and it is then that we could start seeing snow to lower levels.
“Long-range forecasts have been showing for a while that December is shaping up to be colder than average and there are likely to be a number of significant snowy spells during the month.
“One of these could arrive over the Christmas period and there is the possibility this could be severe in nature.
“January is likely to hampered, again by numerous periods of snowfall, and we could be looking at a very cold month overall.
“This is all intrinsically linked to a period of low solar activity impacting the jet stream and triggering Sudden Stratospheric Warming events similar to the one which led to the bitter cold period of weather just after last winter.
“The sun is currently blank of sunspot activity, we would need to see a recovery of this geomagnetic activity to stay out of a blocked winter pattern later in the year, the bad news is that this is going to get no better.”
The UK Met Office said temperatures are likely to dip below normal for the time of year heading into November.