THE big freeze is set to continue with up to four inches of snow predicted to fall in south Essex on Friday.

The Met Office has issued a warning that explains blizzards are a possibility with snow spreading into the region from the south west on Friday, January 18 and into the weekend.

The warning, which is on the Met Office website, states there is potential for “severe disruption”.

It says: “Though currently there is a good deal of uncertainty about intensity of snow and how quickly it will turn to rain in the southwest.

“The public should be aware of the risk of significant travel disruption affecting the west in the morning and the east in the afternoon.”

Tom Defty, spokesman for the Chelmsford-based Essex Weather Centre, said temperatures in Basildon were down to -4 on Tuesday night, January 15 and -3 in Southend - figures which he said are “fairly rare”.

Elsewhere in Essex plunging temperatures of -10 and -11 were recorded in Braintree and Harwich respectively.

However, today, Wednesday, Southend is one of the mildest areas in the county with temperatures sitting just above freezing, but Mr Defty said that is still seven degrees below the normal average.

The entire country is currently on a level three cold weather alert - the highest is level four which represents a national emergency.

Elsewhere in the UK an extra ten inches of snow is forecast to fall over the weekend.