Temperatures could drop to -10C in some remote areas by the end of the week, the Met Office warned on December 14. The temperature in the Nordic countries, Central and Eastern Europe will also drop to near zero in the next few days.
In addition, the latest research predicts that by December 18, the average temperature across northwestern Europe is expected to continue to slide to around 27 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 3 degrees Celsius), well below the 30-year trend line.
The sharp drop in temperature also means that European heating demand will soar in the next few months, so can Europe's already fragile energy system survive?
As this autumn is warmer than usual, European natural gas inventories rose sharply to 96% last month, and many European countries have established sufficient winter natural gas reserves. However, as the weather turns cold, the current level of natural gas reserves has dropped to 90%. If the cold current from the Arctic continues to move south, natural gas stocks may continue to decline in the next few months.
Southern Germany could be particularly vulnerable to cold shocks if French nuclear power plants go out, despite Europe's relatively high levels of winter gas reserves, energy analysts said. Britain could also face problems early next year if EU energy exports fall.