From the BBC:
As much of the country braces itself for further snow falls and freezing temperatures word reaches me from several US forecasters that the whole of the Northern Hemisphere is in for a very cold start to 2010. Apparently there's been a strong downspike in something called the Arctic Oscillation Index and the North Atlantic Oscillation Index is also strongly negative.
This alignment in both atmospheric circulation patterns in a downward direction has led some forecasters in North America to predict a bitterly cold snap for the first half of January for North America and Northern Europe. One AccuWeather senior meteorologist called Joe Bastardi is even forecasting"cold of a variety not seen in over 25 years in a large scale is about to engulf the major energy consuming areas of the northern Hemisphere. The first 15 days of the opening of the New Year will be the coldest, population weighted, north of 30 [degrees] north world wide in over 25 years."Some other forecasters agree. But not the Met Office here in Britain, which is apparently sticking to its forecast of a relatively mild winter (I think ... it's not really clear from its website), despite recent evidence (ie from the mid-December onwards) to the contrary. Indeed, from Scotland to the Great Lakes in North America the December weather has been fiercer than it has been for quite some time....MORE