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Weather forecasters have confirmed that snow has been forecast for Essex this evening – the official prediction is anything from ‘a light dusting’ to ‘a blizzard of epic proportions not seen since The Day After Tomorrow or an episode of Pingu.’ Residents of the county have been preparing their homes and vehicles today.

A bakery worker in the Southend Extra branch of Tesco commented: ‘I have really never seen anything quite like it. As the day went on, people were actually fighting in the aisle of the last small loaf of Warburton’s wholemeal. 13 people had to be taken to Southend Hospital, and we all had to give a statement to the police.’

Local petrol stations also reported a surge in demand for fuel. A garage owner on the A127, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘We have had cars queueing up all day just in case there is a national shortage of petrol and diesel – this can happen when the tankers cannot reach us to deliver fresh supplies. Therefore, as a precaution, I have raised prices of both fuels to £2.50 per litre, and this will ensure that all customers can buy fuel when they arrive to fill up. I will return prices back to their original levels tomorrow, or perhaps the month after.’

Roger Tracking is the chairman of the South Essex Safer Driving Partnership Alliance Coalition Group, and he has some essential advice for motorists. He said: If there is any kind of snow or ice on the roads, the key to safer journeys is to not drive like a complete and utter bell end. For example, ice on the road means that your tyres may not grip the surface properly, and revving the engine to speed up will actually have no effect whatsoever. Remember that braking distances will be multiplied by ten times or more in snow – therefore you will need to put your iPhone down around 500m-600m before you arrive at the junction.’

A spokesperson for schools in the county confirmed that schools would continue to remain closed in the event of snow as it is currently the half-term holiday. Users of the c2c and Greater Anglia lines may experience some disruption to their journey, whether or not there is actually any snow this evening.