Polar-vortex-554183Panicked forecasters raised the alert in the past hour after spotting the freak system on the weather models. Rare in the UK it is identical to the phenomenon which triggered crippling whiteouts and ice storms in the United States. Sparked by the frenzied and volatile behaviour of the jet stream it threatens to bring the fury of the North Pole tearing across the country NEXT WEEK. Forecasters say temperatures will plunge to below -15C (5F) while feet-deep snow drifts on a par with the worst winters in history are likely. The whole of the UK will be scourged by screaming Arctic gales and blizzards right through the first half of February.  A repeat of the historic freeze of 2010 which brought the coldest temperatures on record and ground airports to a standstill, is feared. Weather experts say they have issued a stark warning to emergency services and the Government to take action now. Airports, railway lines and roads are expected to grind to a shivering halt with extreme cold threatening the lives of thousands of people. Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, warned a “catastrophic” set of circumstances have come together to trigger a lethal spell of weather. He said: “This could lead to anything, gales, huge snowstorms and the lowest temperatures of winter so far. More