Britain is set to plunge into freezing temperatures with heavy snow showers next week. At least 24 inches of snow is expected to fall around areas of the UK.
The cold snap will begin on Sunday in Scotland and is expected to spread southwards, bringing dangerous snowfall to parts of England and Wales by Wednesday.
Severe wintry weather could bring widespread travel chaos on roads and railways and at airports across the country.
A PA WeatherCentre spokesman said showers were expected to turn into snow in Scotland on Sunday, spreading south by Monday morning when freezing temperatures will hit northern England.
By Tuesday, there will a risk of heavy snow showers almost everywhere across Britain, the spokesman said.
But temperatures are likely to drop even further on Wednesday with the cold blast from the Arctic, falling well below zero degrees Celsius in Scotland.
Heavy snow showers are most likely to be seen in Scotland and north-east England on Wednesday, and there will be a “severe and penetrating frost” across Britain overnight.
Temperatures in Scotland will struggle to remain above zero and could plummet to minus 10C midweek.
The spokesman added: “I don’t think people should be dusting off their sledges just yet, but it does look like a significant cold snap at the start of next week.”
It was not yet clear how long the cold snap would last.
A spokesman for AA Roadwatch advised motorists to take extra care in freezing conditions, and to allow extra time to warm up their vehicles in the mornings.
Extreme wintry weather IN January caused havoc on Britain’s roads and railways and caused severe disruption to flights.