The UK is braced for more wintry weather ahead of the first weekend of December, with warnings in place for ice and snow.
Large parts of Scotland and areas of northern England, including the Pennines and the Yorkshire Moors, are predicted to see snow and icy conditions – which could cause travel disruption.
Temperatures may drop as low as minus 7C (19F) overnight on Wednesday in Aberdeenshire, eastern Scotland.
Parts of the south will also begin to feel the winter chill, with temperatures dipping down to minus 1C (30F) in south-west London.
But the coldest weather is expected in western Scotland overnight on Thursday, where temperatures could drop to an icy minus 10C (14F).
The Met Office said the cold spell is expected to last until Friday, but the weekend will see brighter weather and even some sunshine.
It added that temperatures going into next week would be lower than the average annual temperature, which is usually around 7-9C (45-48F).
Chief meteorologist Dan Suri said: “It’ll certainly feel more wintry this week, with colder weather bringing a risk of frost, ice and wintry showers.
“The risk of snow accumulating is largely confined to the northern half of the UK – mainly over higher ground in Scotland, Wales and northern England.
“By Thursday morning parts of north-west Scotland could see 2cm of snow accumulations to low levels, with 2-5cm above 200m and up to 10cm gathering over the highest routes, leading to some travel disruption.”
Snow and ice warnings are in place for parts of Scotland until 12pm on Thursday, along with an ice warning for Northern Ireland on Wednesday night.
Traffic Scotland operator manager Douglas Cairns said a record number of gritters had been made available to keep traffic moving this winter.
“The first severe weather warning of the winter for snow and ice is always a timely reminder for people to check they are winter ready and have made appropriate preparations,” he said.
But Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Dan Harris said that despite the cold and unsettled weather – including freezing fog – all is not “doom and gloom”.
“We’re keeping an eye on other areas where there is potential for disruptive snow – in particular central and south-east England and the hills of northern England,” he said.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and the far north of England will start Thursday with a #frost, and there will be wintry showers and #icy patches too. Further south, frost will be more patchy, although here cloud, some showery #rain and local hill #snow will edge in from the west pic.twitter.com/gyPBJzZyF3— Met Office (@metoffice) December 2, 2020
“It’ll stay cold into the weekend with rain, showers and hill snow continuing across many areas, along with overnight frosts.
“We could also see some stubborn areas of freezing fog develop more widely, which at this time of year can persist all day.
“However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as there’s likely to be an increased chance of dry, bright, and perhaps even sunny weather on offer as the weekend progresses.”