The UK was today bracing itself for the return of heavy snow in the next 48 hours.
Severe weather warnings were issued by the Met Office as cold Arctic air is expected to bring temperatures down to as low as minus 10C.
Winds from the north look set to bring a band of rain and high winds tomorrow followed immediately by snow across the country.
Clare Allen, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “London will be minus 4C and Northern Ireland minus 3C.
“Scotland may be down as much as minus 6C and on higher ground it could be as low as minus 10C.”
Some 5cm-10cm of snow is expected over much of the country, with possibly 20cm in parts of Scotland by Friday evening.
Charles Powell, a forecaster for the Met Office, said: “We have got early warnings out for Thursday and Friday. Whereas a couple of weeks ago the main risk was in the eastern part of the country, this time the western side is most at risk. We are fairly certain that the western side will see some snowfall.”
Mr Powell said the snow would be “quite significant” and could cause disruption.
But it is too early to predict how this will compare to conditions two weeks ago when much of the country was brought to a standstill.
Bookies have already slashed their odds of a white Christmas, and Mr Powell said it could be a while before we get a break from the chilly conditions. “There is no real sign next week or the Christmas period of it warming up. It could well stay cold into the start of the New Year,” he added.