ESSEX is set for a snow-free winter for the first time in more than a decade.
Tom Defty, of Essex Weather Centre, believes not a single snowflake will fall this winter.
If his prediction proves correct, it will make a stark contrast to last February and March, when there were several weeks of freezing conditions.
Mr Defty said: “This may be the first winter since 2002 that we see no snow, not a single flake, in Essex.
“It is past Mid Winters Day, we have survived without snow so far.
“From now it is going to be more of the same, it is going to be more rain and a very mild weather.”
Mr Defty said people should look out for signs of an early spring.
He added: “One of the biggest things people will notice is the spring bulbs coming through, the rose bushes flowering and the trees have got buds on.
“I have been sent so many photos of early-blooming daffodils.
“Normally when everything progresses early we have a sudden cold snap but I have not seen anything significant in the forecast.”
Mr Defty added even if cold winds were to come from Europe, sea temperatures are so warm, a cold snap would be unlikely.
He said: “A year agowe had pictures of Essex under really deep snow and rush hour was absolute mayhem. This year it is a completely different picture.
“We won’t have the big storm systems we had in December but we will have rainfall day after day, a couple of millimetres falling on saturated ground and it is going to take a long time for the ground to dry out.”
Surface flooding will be the main weather concern from now until the end of winter.
Essex Weather Centre figures show we already had the total expected rainfall for January within the first two weeks of the year.