Snow could fall this week from the Midlands into northern England, with northern and western Scotland most at risk of an Arctic blast that could cause travel disruption and chill temperatures, the Met Office warned on Monday.
“There is a possibility that parts of northern Scotland could see accumulations overnight on Tuesday, with similar accumulations forecast further east,” it said.
The warning comes after ice, below freezing temperatures and thick fog caused disruption on the roads and grounded thousands of holidaymakers at the weekend.
The Arctic front will hit land after Saturday as winds shift from the east-to-southwest as a southerly transition front, though it will “show little sign of building inland during the day on Monday,” the Met Office said.
That means parts of southern England will be mainly dry and pleasant, with sunshine and high temperatures, but that temperatures will only rise to about 12 or 13 degrees Celsius.
The snow will develop on Wednesday afternoon as an area of low pressure moves across Britain, with a low-pressure area over Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland.
While there is some uncertainty about where and when it could snow, “southern Scotland and central and southern England should see first,” the Met Office said.
“Forecast snow at lower levels is particularly likely in the north and east. It is worth a watch at lower levels on Wednesday morning, especially for travel and other transport,” it added.
Some parts of the East Midlands, the North East, northern England and northwest Wales could see temperatures from -4 degrees Celsius and as low as -10 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.
While such cold temperatures are a rarity in much of Britain, they have been sighted in the Scottish Highlands and the northwest.
In 2016, temperatures hovered around freezing for several days in northern Scotland. That snowfall was rare in Britain and could have affected the Rio Olympics as world-class sports, such as curling, began almost a week later than originally scheduled, the Telegraph reported.
Meteorologists said the main fuel for the current storm is a low-pressure system that moved out to sea before reaching Britain.
The weather system will bring rain and wind, then snow to high ground with lower levels only seeing hail and frost. Winds will strengthen after Wednesday as the cold air returns and snowfall increases.
“Snow is likely from Wednesday to Friday mainly for higher ground in the north and west,” the Met Office said.
Meteorologists said they are puzzled why temperatures in Northern Ireland and western Scotland are actually higher than in many of the areas farther south.
“Why does northern Scotland have milder temperatures?” Met Office Chief Forecaster Steve Ramsdale said. “Possible explanation: we have a temperature difference of about 3C to the west of the low pressure area at the moment and these things flow around like a magnet.”
Follow @rainer on Twitter