There has been speculation that the UK may be in for a cold winter after the arrival of a migrating Bewick's swan from Russia.

The swan arrived at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire on 11 October, the earliest date since records began at the site in 1963.

It is thought low temperatures, snowfall and north easterly winds in Russia have encouraged Bewick’s swans to start their westwards migration through Europe early this year.

WWT studies have shown that the weather is a major influence on when Bewick’s swans migrate from Russia, with the wind direction being a particularly crucial factor.

There is some early season snow over the continent Credit: Met Office

Unusually cold weather has developed over a large part of continental Europe and is likely to persist through this week with temperatures around 5-10 degrees below average.

The cold weather is extending further west and south going as far south as the Mediterranean coast of France and north east Spain.

Will the cold weather affect the UK?

High pressure is currently dominating the weather over the UK with winds from the east bringing cold air.

Many places will stay dry with bright days and chilly nights with temperatures around, or a little below, average for the time of year.

The Met Office says it is still too early to speculate what weather this winter may bring to the UK. Credit: Met Office

There is no sign of any snow for the UK, but low overnight temperatures will allow some localised frost and fog to form.

The Met Office says at this stage it is too early to speculate what weather this winter may bring to the UK.