The UK could be hit with snowstorms and plunging temperatures this winter thanks to freak changes in the Pacific Ocean.
An extra cold winter is expected to batter the nation after scientists predicted a "major" El Nino phenomenon would see dramatic shifts in weather all over the globe.
Global food prices, including staples such as bread and meat, could spiral after Australian meteorologists announced the start of a new El Nino cycle.
Food stocks could also be battered by the return of El Nino - which occurs when ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific near Peru rise due to a change in the normal wind direction.
The last time this happened, in 2010, the UK was almost crippled by snow, ice and freezing temperatures.
In December that year, the average temperature was just -1C while experts said it was the coldest year-end month since nationwide records began 100 years earlier.
Central England recorded the second coldest December since 1659.
Adam Scaife, head of long-range forecasting at the Met Office, said the biggest fallout from the event will be damage to crops crops.
He said: "Scientists have been predicting a significant El Nino and the Met Office forecasts now agree on at least a moderate event.
"This has a huge impact on the Indian monsoon affecting crops and global prices of everything from coffee to the collapse of eastern fisheries.
"It can cause breaks in the monsoon and drought while in eastern Australia there is a bigger risk of it being drier and warmer.
"The Peruvian fish industry can be devastated as the change in coastal wind direction prevents nutrient rich water rising leading to huge losses."
He said it is too early to confirm whether the UK would see a colder than average winter this year although did not rule it out.
He said: "There is a small increase in the risk of a colder than average winter this year.
"It is usually the end of winter which is affected, it is important to point out that the impact varies from event to event."
Earlier this year experts announced El Nino had set in but insisted it was a minor event with little impact expected.
However, Australian scientists this week issued fresh warnings that in fact it is shaping up to be a major event.
David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said: "This is a proper El Nino effect, it's not a weak one.
"You know, there's always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we'd suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event."
Originally published by Mirror Online.