Arctic air will push temperatures below freezing across the UK (Picture: WX Charts)
Temperatures are set to plunge to as low as minus 10C as a bitterly cold Arctic air moves across the UK.
Snow is forecast in parts of Scotland while the Met Office has issued a rare cold weather warning for England.
The amber alert is in place from 6pm on Wednesday until 9am on Monday, and warns the plummeting temperatures could harm high-risk groups.
Met Office forecaster Dan Stroud said temperatures will range between 4-6C in the north, reaching highs of 8C in the south and dropping to as low as -6C overnight.
But some strong winds today will make it feel colder than it actually is.
The mercury will drop much lower late on Wednesday and through Thursday as Arctic air spreads south across the country.
Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Rebekah Sherwin added: ‘We can expect to see some snow and wintry showers further south as the week progresses, particularly in coastal areas or over higher ground.
‘There will be widespread frosts with temperatures falling to as low as minus 10C overnight in isolated spots by the end of the week.’
Downing Street said it was confident the UK has sufficient energy supplies to get through the cold snap.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said older people and those with heart or lung conditions are particularly at risk from the cold weather.
He added: ‘If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should heat your home to a temperature that is comfortable for you.
Snow will fall across parts of Scotland in the coming days (Picture: WX Charts)
Get ready for a very chilly week (Picture: Met Office)
‘In rooms you mostly use, such as the living room or bedroom, try to heat them to at least 18C if you can. Keep your bedroom windows closed at night. Wearing several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer.’
The RAC has advised motorists to check their vehicles are ‘winter ready’ with properly inflated tyres that have good tread.
Spokesperson Rod Dennis said: ‘With temperatures plummeting this week, many drivers might be taken aback by the cold after an exceptionally mild autumn.
‘Drivers with older batteries in their cars might also wish to give their vehicle a 20-minute drive before colder conditions arrive to ensure the battery can cope with sub-zero temperatures.’
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