SNOW is expected to hit highland areas across the UK this weekend, as a strong arctic wind rips through the country causing temperatures to plummet to below freezing in many places, according to the Met Office.
Meteorologist Clare Nasir said: “Saturday will be the coldest 24 hours over the weekend and that’s because the wind has changed, it’s coming from the Arctic.
“It’s a strong wind, incredibly strong wind and that will have a significant effect on our temperatures and some contrasts could be 20 degrees different from a few weekends ago.
“Typically there will be a widespread air-frost, with temperatures dipping below freezing in many places.”
In northern Scotland there will be a mixture of rain, sleet and hail showers, as well as some snow flakes at lower levels.
In the Highlands and Grampians, there will be some settled snow through Friday night and into Saturday.
Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: “It will be white over the mountains of Scotland.”
Ms Nasir noted it will also be cold further south, stating: “In the frost hollows in some southern areas it could be as low as minus five degrees Celsius, and a bitterly cold wind is coming our way.
“It’s time to get those hats and gloves out – wrap up warm.”
However, before the wind changes, Wednesday and Thursday will remain “exceptionally mild”, with temperatures in the high teens.
Mr McGivern said these temperatures would be “helped with some sunshine” so that “much of the UK is bathed in warmer air”.
On Wednesday, gale-force winds will remain in the far north and patchy rainfall in the north-east of Scotland.
Meanwhile, south Wales and south-west England will see some fog patches and western and southern parts of Britain will be fairly overcast.
Both the cloud and fog will disperse as the day goes on.
Mr McGivern added: “Very mild across the board though, temperatures between 14-17 degrees in the east, but not so mild further west and it will stay windy in the north of Scotland, which will help push through weather fronts overnight.
“Rain will pep up a bit across central and western parts of the country and clear skies and colder air will develop in the far north of Scotland.”
Across southern regions, cloudier skies on Wednesday night will keep temperatures relatively mild.
The cloud will remain for many people in England and Scotland on Thursday, before “arctic winds arrive for the weekend” on Friday.