A savage cocktail of low pressure from the Atlantic Ocean and bitterly cold air from the Arctic is expected to smash into Britain in the coming days.
The volatile weather is being steered towards the UK by natural air currents, known as the jet stream, raging through the Atlantic Ocean at speeds of at least 230mph.
Northern England and Scotland are set to be first in the firing line by Sunday, when winds sweeping in from the west will begin to strengthen.
But by next week, the “potent winter blast” could unleash up to a foot of snow, freezing temperatures and gale force winds across the nation.
The Met Office has issued a level-2 cold weather alert amid warnings temperatures could plummet to lows of -10C in Scotland on Monday night.
GETTY/WEATHER CHANNELCOLD SNAP: A winter blast lasting two weeks is about to freeze Britain
Elsewhere, the mercury will plunge below freezing across most of the UK overnight next week, with highs in the low single figures during the day.
The forecaster has put in place a raft of yellow weather alerts warning of snow and ice in Scotland and Northern Ireland between 6pm on Monday to just before midnight on Tuesday.
Heavy snow showers and hazardous ice is expected to spark travel mayhem, with commuters warned to brace themselves for massive delays, it said.
WEATHER CHANNELFEROCIOUS: The jet stream is carry cold and wet weather towards the UK at speeds of 230mph
WEATHER CHANNELBRACE YOURSELVES: The jet stream heavily influence Britain's weather
“We need to brace ourselves for a rude awakening next week.”John Hammond, forecaster and co-founder of digital weather service weathertrending
The Met Office said: “Frequent and heavy hail and snow showers are likely to affect many parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland from Monday evening, continuing for much of the day on Tuesday.
“Travel delays on roads are possible, with a small chance of cancellations to public transport.
“There is a small chance that power cuts will occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.
“In addition some roads and pavements may become icy, increasing the chance of injuries from slips and falls.”
WEATHER CHANNELBITTER: Temperatures are set to plummet to lows of 10C in the Scottish Highlands next week
Latest models from Weather Outlook indicate snow will fall across most of the UK by the middle of next week.
Some forecasters are warning that the cold snap could cripple Britain with “widespread and heavy snow showers” and frigid temperatures until the end of January.
Leon Brown, chief forecaster for The Weather Channel, said: "From next Tuesday there is a strong westerly jet stream across the North Atlantic to Europe and the north of the UK is on the colder polar side of the jet stream.
"Then by the end of next week, large waves develop in the jet stream with a big plunge south over western Europe with temperatures falling to nearer normal and then below normal more widely.
"There is nothing extreme just typical for late January with snow over high ground in the north and west in the north-westerly flow off the Atlantic. There will be frosts overnight."
WEATHER OUTLOOKWINTER BLAST: Heavy snow is expected to spark travel chaos across the UK next week
John Hammond, forecaster and co-founder of digital weather service weathertrending, said “nobody is immune” to snowfall from next week.
He said: “Britain may have slumbered through a spell of quiet weather this week, but we need to brace ourselves for a rude awakening next week.
“The calm misty weather of recent days will be replaced by wind, rain and eventually heavy snow for millions as the jet stream sends an express delivery of Arctic air straight from Canada.
“The week is set to start with windscreen scrapers and end with snow ploughs, as a cold front sweeps away the rain and sends temperatures tumbling towards freezing point.
“The northwest of the UK will bear the brunt of the heavy snow showers, with several feet of snow on the mountains by midweek.
“But larger towns in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northwestern parts of England and Wales can also expect some disruptive snowfall.
“The strong winds will add a bitter edge to the low temperatures, with authorities gearing up for problems from both heavy snow and gales.”
MET OFFICEWARNING: The Met Office has issued yellow weather alert for Monday and Tuesday
Leading bookmaker Coral makes it odds on for snow to fall this weekend.
The firm have odds of 1-2 for snow in Aberdeen and Inverness, while Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle are all 4-5.
“There’s no respite from the cold weather and our odds suggest that some places in the UK this weekend will again get snow,” a spokesperson said.