The UK could be facing snow and ice as wintry weather descends on the country this week.
Weather warnings are in place for some areas of the country, with large parts of Scotland and areas of northern England, including the Pennines and the Yorkshire Moors, predicted to see snow and icy conditions.
The cold snap is expected to cause potential travel disruption and has prompted authorities to urge people to make sure they’re prepared for the wintry weather.
The forecast comes after some experts predicted that Britain could be facing its coldest winter in eight years.
Watch: How to gear up for cold weather running
The Met Office said the cold spell is expected to last until Friday, but the weekend could bring brighter weather and even some sunshine.
The coldest weather is expected in western Scotland overnight on Thursday, where temperatures could drop to an icy -10C (14F).
Going into next week, the Met Office forecast that temperatures will be lower than the average annual temperature, which is usually around 7-9C (45-48F).
Chief meteorologist Dan Suri said: “It’ll certainly feel more wintry this week, with colder weather bringing a risk of frost, ice and wintry showers.
“The risk of snow accumulating is largely confined to the northern half of the UK – mainly over higher ground in Scotland, Wales and northern England.
“By Thursday morning parts of north-west Scotland could see 2cm of snow accumulations to low levels, with 2-5 cm above 200m and up to 10 cm gathering over the highest routes, leading to some travel disruption.”
Traffic Scotland operator manager Douglas Cairns said a record number of gritters had been made available to keep traffic moving this winter.
He said: “The first severe weather warning of the winter for snow and ice is always a timely reminder for people to check they are winter ready and have made appropriate preparations.”
But Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Dan Harris sad there could be a reprieve from the cold weather with the chance of sunshine at the weekend.
He said: “We’re keeping an eye on other areas where there is potential for disruptive snow – in particular central and south-east England and the hills of northern England.
“It’ll stay cold into the weekend with rain, showers and hill snow continuing across many areas, along with overnight frosts.
“We could also see some stubborn areas of freezing fog develop more widely, which at this time of year can persist all day.
“However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as there’s likely to be an increased chance of dry, bright, and perhaps even sunny weather on offer as the weekend progresses.”
Watch: How England's new three-tier COVID system will work