The UK is set to be hit by freezing Arctic air as bone-chilling -12C temperatures sweep across the country.
The polar winds are forecast just days after Britain was hit by Storm Eleanor which brought winds of up to 100mph to the Isles at the start of the week.
The freezing conditions could even bring more snow to the United Kingdom.
Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: “It’s already much colder in the north. Fairly widespread frost across Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England as we begin the weekend.
“Still some sleet and snow showers around these eastern coasts and the threat of ice first thing.”
Moving into Saturday afternoon and evening, McGivern said: “A few more snow showers moving into eastern Scotland and in the north-east of England and here will feel bitterly cold.
“A biting north-east wind from the Arctic, making those temperatures feel several degrees colder than that.”
The forecaster said that the snow showers would “not amount to a huge deal” before high pressure brings in even colder weather on Sunday morning.
He said: “Further north, a widespread and hard frost develops by Sunday morning. These are the kinds of temperatures that we may see in the towns and cities but in the countryside several degrees colder.
“Across sheltered parts of Scotland could get as cold as -12 degrees.”
Met Office officials with Public Health England (PHE) yesterday ramped up a cold weather health alert from level-2 to a more serious level-3 ‘weather action’ until Tuesday.
The warning, one grade below “national emergency”, urges elderly and vulnerable people to be vigilant during possible “dangerous” weather.
Sandy Brown, deputy chief executive of East of England Ambulance Service, said: “We expect to see an increase in calls and we have additional resources prepared.
“Everyone can play their part and we are calling on the public to check on vulnerable members of the community and make sure they have sufficient over-the-counter and prescribed medicines.”
A yellow weather warning for ice was also put in place for south-west England between Saturday 6 at 6.30am to 11pm.
A Met Office statement read: “Icy patches are expected this morning, most likely on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths. There is a chance that injuries could occur from slips and falls on icy surfaces. This warning is being updated to extend the risk of ice through the mid morning.
“Surface temperatures fell below freezing overnight and icy patches have formed, especially where further showers occurred during the early hours of today.”
For tonight, the BBC weather forecast read: “A cold and frosty night for many, with increasingly clear skies. Any wintry showers in the northeast will slowly fade. Windy and cloudier in the south, with a few showers.”
James Madden, a forecaster for Exacta Weather, said heavy snow and strong winds will whip up blizzard conditions in the north.
Despite predictions for a brief warm-up next Wednesday this month will bring “big changes” from the generally mild winter conditions so far, he warned.
He said: “From Friday and into the weekend will see a rather significant switch back to much colder temperatures.
“These weather conditions will be accompanied by widespread wintry weather and snow showers.
“Parts of northern Britain can expect some heavy and settling snow across higher ground and to lower levels, there is the potential for some blizzard conditions and drifting snow in places.”