A spokesperson for the Essex Weather Office has confirmed that a month-long spell of super-cold weather is due to hit Essex, with blizzards predicted, -10 temperatures forecasted and county education bosses warning that school closures are inevitable. 

Clive Nedge of the EWO told our Chief Reporter that temperatures in the region will shortly become so cold that a flame on a lighter ‘could freeze in six seconds.’

He added: ‘This extraordinary spell of weather was originally blamed on the El Niño phenomenon, but it has now been upgraded to the more feminine La Niña phenomenon as the weather front is more erratic and temperamental.’

‘Another complication is that we don’t know exactly how much snow is going to fall. We have predicted around ten inches, but if someone at the measuring station rolls it out into a thinner line it could be anything up to twenty inches.’

‘Our only other option will be to send someone out with a Salter scale to weigh all of the snow that lands on Essex.’

‘It is inevitable that schools will close, and we will see far more shut than during the fog closures of 2016 when the mist managed to get inside a number of classrooms all over the county.’

‘Black ice will also be an issue for motorists, especially as it is actually clear – that will make it even more difficult to see.’

We asked Clive if he had any advice for residents of the county about staying safe during heavy snow. 

He said: ‘Anyone with cats should be worried about leaving them outdoors when a blizzard begins. Cats are prone to standing still and just meowing at something that distresses them, and the problem with meowing at a blizzard is that it can’t really hear you and you get buried really quickly.’

‘The average Maine Coon can be covered from head to toe in just eleven minutes in moderate snowfall, so cat owners should have an emergency plan in place to get their cat indoors.’