London: The UK is set to receive months of snow and bitter Arctic winds as the country braces itself for the most savage winter in more than 50 years, weathermen warned today.
In a chilling echo of the devastating 1962/63 winter which crippled the nation, UK could be brought to a total standstill as soon as late October, caused by sub-zero temperatures, violent snow storms and freaking ocean cooling in the North Atlantic.
The shock warnings have also sparked fears Britain could face fuel and food shortages as roads and transport networks grind to a halt.
Emergency services have been warned to batten down the hatches amid warnings that rivers and lakes could freeze as well throughout the country.
Meteorologists and oceanographers warn plunging ocean temperatures in the Atlantic are at the root of the crisis.
Temperatures in the Gulf Stream - the warm ocean current which runs up the east coast of America - have plummeted over the past year.
The stream merges into the North Atlantic Drift which normally pushes warm water towards the west coast of the United Kingdom.
However, a drastic reduction in speed and temperature of the current has left Britain without any buffer to a bitter Arctic influx.
Experts fear a repeat of the worst winter in history which saw temperatures plunge to near -20C in January 1963 causing the sea to freeze off the Kent coast.
That went on to become the coldest month since January 1814, with an average temperature of -2.1C.