THE first bitter taste of winter is heading for Huddersfield.
Forecasters are warning of snow and bitterly-cold temperatures by next week.
And they are also warning that the winter of 2012/13 could be one of the coldest for many years.
The news comes after torrential rain and strong winds in the town over the past two days, although Huddersfield escaped the worst of the bad weather which has hit many areas of the UK.
Salendine Nook weather expert Paul Stevens said: “There have been some sensational headlines recently warning of the coldest winter for 100 years, feet of snow and temperatures falling to -20c.
“If November is to provide any indication to future weather, this month so far has been pretty uneventful. Temperatures have been just above average, at 6.5°C compared to the normal 6°C. Rainfall is bang on normal for the mid-month at 35mm.
“The latest weather models have been firming up on a cold spell with a trend to colder weather starting as soon as this Sunday with perhaps north west winds and wintry showers of rain on low ground in the town and rain and sleet on hills above 500 feet.
“There is a growing threat that snow showers could spread into higher ground around Huddersfield by the middle of next week with even sleet and some snow getting into the town by the end of next week.
“Certainly as we go into next week, expect sub zero temperatures and icy roads at times at night.
“It might be time to buy a new snow shovel, sledge and get the car ready so you’re prepared.”
Mr Stevens said as we head into December it looks much more likely that high pressure will move towards Greenland and Iceland, bringing much colder north-east winds in from the Arctic but it was too early to say if this would bring snow.
“My thoughts from the balance of evidence at this stage is prepare for much colder conditions to end November and for at least the first week into December.
“There is a 20% chance the cold will last until Christmas.
“Further into winter it looks as though this year will bring an increased chance of high pressure to the north and with this pattern colder conditions similar to 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11 is more likely with snow at times.
“A repeat of last winter’s mild weather is less likely and there is some evidence that the pattern of weather developing for the winter is very similar to that of November and December 1962.
“The 1962 and 63 winter was the coldest on record and remains unbeaten in length and severity. It is though impossible at this time to say this winter will repeat that infamous one.”