Thermometers will plunge this week with experts warning of a major winter freeze after the weekend.
Further heavy rain is forecast across the country from tomorrow with showers turning to snow in the north by Friday.
Up to two feet of snow is expected to settle in the Scottish Highlands with flurries expected further south next week.
The entire country faces sub-zero overnight temperatures with bitter winds and frost heralding the start of “proper winter weather”.
The chilly forecast comes as parts of Britain brave further heavy rain and gales as the clean up form Storm Frank continues.
“A wide band of rain moved slowly eastwards last night into today giving 10 to 25mm
“Heavy snowfalls are expected over the Scottish highlands today with more than 50cm [1.6ft] over the higher mountains.”
The Met Office said after a wet and windy week things will start to turn colder towards the weekend. It comes as official figures reveal last month was the wettest and mildest December on record and the wettest month in history. Average temperatures of 7.9C (46F) beat the previous record of 6.9C (44F) set in 1934 while 50 inches (1,289mm) of rain secured the wettest December ever.
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for Scotland and Northern Ireland tomorrow and Thursday where more than three inches is expected to fall.
“This colder weather will coincide with bands of heavy rain spreading across all areas throughout today and tomorrow.“The far north and Scotland will see some potentially atrocious conditions from heavy snow and blizzard conditions from the increasing winds. “Parts of Northern and Eastern England are likely to see some moderate to potentially heavy snow.”
“January is going to be notably colder than December with snow at times for Scotland and the north with intervals of rain and strong winds.”