Big freeze to hit Sunderland in January - as 'coldest winter on record' expected
2019 will get off to a cold and stormy start according to weather experts, with frost, fog, snow and gale force winds set to sweep the UK.
Freezing temperatures are predicted to occur soon after the New Year, while adverse weather conditions, including snow and ice, are increasingly likely as January continues.
Some experts are now reportedly predicting a "deep freeze" that could last for months, and usher in the coldest winter on record, with a new cold snap from Russia set to bring a fresh 'Beast from the East'.
From Tuesday to Friday this week, temperatures around the UK will become far colder. Frost and fog are expected in the North of England - and Sunderland and the North-East will likely experience below-freezing conditions on Wednesday evening.
Severe gales, freezing weather and snow
According to the Met Office, the first half of January will see unsettled conditions, particularly in the North, with frontal systems bringing spells of rain and strong winds from the Atlantic, and some snow possible - especially on higher ground, but potentially on low levels at times too.
The second half of the month, meanwhile, could see even more dramatic weather.
The Met Office notes that we can expect "heavy rain and gales at times, especially in the North, where severe gales are possible. Hill snow is also possible, as well as snow to lower levels at times in the north. There is then a greater than normal chance of a change to much colder weather occurring during this period, with an increasing likelihood of frost, fog and snow."
The coldest year on record?
These looming arctic conditions are now seeing bookies slash odds on 2019 being the coldest ever year on record - from 4/1 to 7/2.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "We've already cut odds on next year being a record-breaker with freezing temperatures set to strike the UK."