A violent storm set to hit Scotland on Sunday night will open the floodgates for a freezing Polar plunge to engulf the country.
Winds will gush in from Iceland and Canada driven by a powerful jet stream currently wedged over the UK.
The west-to-east current of air which flows high in the atmosphere will drag a mix of stormy Atlantic conditions and frigid air into Britain.
Parts of the country will be buried under several “feet of snow” by the middle of next week, some forecasters warn.
Britons have been urged to prepare for a bout of “dangerous weather” with extreme cold sparking a raft of government warnings.
Snow: UK forecast shows temperatures to plunge in polar blast
A level-2 cold weather health alert is in place through next week while a separate Met Office snow and ice warning kicks in on Monday evening.
Heavy wintry showers and fierce winds threaten to grind traffic to a halt, disrupt power supplies and even knock out mobile phone signals.
Thermometers will start to fall this weekend with bitter winds making it feel close to -10C (14F) in parts of the country.
Most places will shiver in overnight lows of freezing or below next week as daytime temperatures struggle to get above single figures.
Weather charts reveal much of the country will be at risk from heavy snow fall from Monday with not much let up through the rest of January.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said the nation should prepare for severe weather to trigger traffic disruption and school closures.
He said: “We are about to go into another period of very cold weather and once again it is worth pointing out that we may have to go back a few years to the last time we experienced anything of this stature or potency.
UK snow risk on Thursday morning
UK weather: UK snow depth on Thursday
“The weather is likely to impact travel and school closures on a notable scale next week and we could be looking at a notable and lengthy spell of widespread snowy weather.
“Westerly winds will clash with colder air from the north later this weekend bringing some widespread and heavy snow showers across some large swathes of the country.
“On current indications we are looking at another a potent wintry blast.”
Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, warned strong winds with heavy snow will whip blizzards in parts of the country.
Volatile conditions clashing with plunging temperatures will trigger outbreaks of thundersnow – thunderstorms…