THERE are concerns that Sussex and the rest of the UK could be hit by severe winter weather in the coming weeks similar to the Beast from the East winter of 2018.

Scientists have been observing weather over the North Pole, and dramatic changes in the stratosphere at the top of the globe could have severe consequences for the UK.

Weather forecasting models are predicting a "sudden stratospheric warming" event will happen this week, where temperatures in the layer of the atmopshere between six and 30 miles above Earth can increase by 50C in the space of a few days.

This often brings cold weather and snowstorms, such as the Beast from the East which gripped the UK three years ago, when half a metre of snow fell in some places, forced schools to close and caused traffic chaos.

READ MORE: Warning to drivers as parts of Sussex wake up to snow

Dr Richard Hall, lead author of the study, said there was an increased chance of extreme cold and snow over the next week or two. “Today’s SSW is potentially the most dangerous kind,” he said.

There is also the threat of wet and stormy weather coming from the west towards the end of January and into February, meaning we could be in for some extreme weather in the coming weeks.

Parts of Sussex have seen snow this week with drivers warned to be extra careful on the roads.