Britain urged to brace for ‘one of the coldest weeks of this winter so far’
Many places will see a sprinkling of snow at some point during the next seven days.
The coldest week of the winter could be just around the corner, with most of the population likely to see a few flakes of the white stuff.
A series of weather warnings are in place, forecasting snow and ice from Sunday and throughout next week, the Met Office said.
The mercury could plummet as low as minus 7C (19.4F) in some parts of the UK, while the bulk of the population can expect to shiver through sub-zero temperatures.
Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said the first full week of February will probably be “one of our coldest weeks of this winter so far”.
He said: “It’s going to be a cold week, plenty of dry weather around, but many places will probably see some snow at some point during the week, but for a lot of us not really amounting to much at all.
“Probably one of our coldest weeks of this winter so far, but snow-fall wise, doesn’t really look too disruptive at this stage.”
Good evening UK! Angie here tonight for weather questions. Staying mainly cloudy with some patchy rain & sleet slowly easing. Drier overnight, with clearer spells developing, giving a risk of frost & ice, especially in the east: https://t.co/lvmvtqQWBN pic.twitter.com/JZguUb3lmY— Met Office (@metoffice) February 3, 2018
The Met Office said ice was likely to form overnight on Sunday from 2am to 10am along the east coast as temperatures plummet, bringing potentially difficult driving conditions.
On the whole, Sunday will be much drier and brighter than Saturday, with a bitter north-east wind making temperatures feel close to freezing in East Anglia and the South East.
A further weather warning for snow and ice is in place from 8pm on Sunday until 10am on Monday, spanning south-east England.
Scattered rain, sleet and snow showers coming in from the north sea are expected to be most frequent in Kent and East Sussex on Sunday evening, before affecting parts of East Anglia and Greater London later into the night.
Around 1-3cm of snow could accumulate inland, mainly over hills above 100 metres.
Mr Snell said the working week would start on a “bitterly cold” note, with the bulk of the population waking up to temperatures between 0C to minus 2C (32-28.4F)
The mercury could plummet as low as minus 7C (19.4F) in sheltered parts of Scotland and spots most prone to the cold in the Midlands and Wales.
Then, between 9pm on Monday and 3pm on Tuesday, there is a further chance of snow and ice for the north of England, northern Ireland, north Wales and Scotland.
A spell of rain, sleet and increasingly snow will move east across the UK, gradually weakening across England and Wales.
Mr Snell added: “Quite a lot of the UK will see some snow as we head through Tuesday but as it ventures into the Midlands, south-west England and eventually later in the day across south-east England, it’s just going to be a few flakes of snow.
“So many people will see some snow but don’t expect to build a snowman.”
Tuesday morning is again expected to be widely below freezing, with highs of 5-6C (41-42.8F) in spots on the western coast of Wales and south-west England, he added.
Overnight into Wednesday will be another chilly night, while the day will generally be cold, crisp and sunny.
A front of rain is expected to move through the country on Thursday, before the cold air swiftly returns.
The cold snap is expected to grip Britain until at least next weekend, with the chance that milder weather may not arrive until the middle of the following week.