Two yellow weather warnings are in effect from the Met Office on Wednesday, with north Scotland issued one for snow and ice, and Northern Ireland issued one for ice. Maps and charts also show conditions are set to worsen over the week, as an icy blast grips Britain.
By Wednesday morning, maps from WXCharts hold that much of the UK will have seen some snowfall, with some continuing to fall over Wick and Inverness by 9am.
After a comparatively settled day, Wednesday night sees an Atlantic front of weather begin to push eastwards across to the UK, striking from 6am Thursday.
Northern Ireland will see rainfall up to 3mm an hour by 6am, before the front strikes Britain at 9am with snowfall across the north west of Scotland and Carlisle.
By midday, up to 3cm of snowfall is expected to blanket Scotland and northern England, with snow as far south as Birmingham and just north of Cardiff.
On Thursday morning parts of Scotland could see up to 10cm of snow on the ground.
However, temperatures will warm the front enough by 6pm so that rainfall will feature for the latter part of Thursday.
In Scotland and across much of northern England, much of the day sees -3C temperatures at midday, with 0C temperatures further south.
Friday continues the unsettled weather conditions, despite temperatures warming in England and Wales.
The morning sees 3cm of snow strike Northern Ireland and the west coast of Britain, while much of England sees only intermittent spells of rain and light snow.
A north and south divide in weather begins to emerge, as temperatures in Scotland plummet in parts to -9C while England stays at 0C.
Atlantic fronts of rainfall and snow are expected to continue throughout the weekend, with 3am on Saturday seeing a large plume of rain strike across the UK.
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Paul Michaelwaite, Netweather.tv director, has said for the company the coming weeks weather will be “mobile”, with “swings from milder to colder will be the norm”.
He said: “A ridge of high pressure will ease in from the west during Wednesday, squashing the life out of many of the showers – but there’ll still be a scattering around.
“It’ll be another cold feeling day, with a sharp frost early and late. By Thursday, the Atlantic will be starting to get involved again, with a weather front moving in from the west.
“As it bumps against the cold air, snow is likely across the higher ground in particular, for northern England and North Wales northwards.
“Much of that is likely to turn to rain later, but with colder air quickly making a comeback into Scotland, it may well be that any precipitation stays as snow, particularly on high ground, adding more to the already sizeable accumulations here.”
Meanwhile, the UK Health Security Agency has issued a formal “cold weather alert” issued for Greater Manchester over the risk of “heavy snow”.
The UKHSA, in a published statement today, said: “With a risk of severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow across parts of the country, the UK Health Security Agency is encouraging people to stay warm and look out for those most at risk from the effects of cold weather.
“The Met Office is warning that the North East of England, North West of England and Yorkshire and Humber regions will experience cold weather from midnight on Tuesday, January 4 to midday on.”
In addition to Wednesday’s two weather warnings, the Met Office has issued a yellow snow and ice warning for Friday.
It stretches from north west Scotland and the Outer Hebrides across the coast to Manchester, as well as the western parts of Northern Ireland.
The warning is in effect from midnight to 10am, and states: “Frequent sleet and snow showers may lead to some difficult driving conditions and disruption to travel on Friday morning.”