Weather forecasters are warning the run up to Christmas will be “a living nightmare” due to another long stretch of wintry weather waiting to hit Cornwall and the rest of the country.

The UK and Ireland are on course for the coldest December since 1890 and potentially one of the three snowiest ever, along with December 1981 and 1878.

Consultant meteorologists British Weather Services have warned that although the country will get a respite over the next five to six days, with warmer weather, arctic weather will return to the north and east of the UK from as early as next Tuesday, with the rest of the country affected from next Thursday onwards.

Jim Dale, Senior Risk Meteorologist, said: “ The heavyweight cold air over northern Europe isn’t going anywhere fast and as mild weather stretches north to Greenland, the outflow of frigid air from the north east is set to bring us all back into the deep freezer, possibly for a lengthy period.

“Without wishing to scare people, the deep winter situation we are facing up to will require everyone to be well prepared over Christmas.”