Britain will shiver this week with temperatures plummeting to as low as a freezing -8C (17.6F) next week, the coldest its has been for six years.
Up to 10 centimetres of snow could fall across parts of the country – all ironically on the first day of the meteorological spring – March 1.
“We do expect it to be colder next week than for five or six years,” Martin Bowles, an operational meteorologist with the Met Office told Yahoo News.
“Spring is cancelled for at least a week.”
The reason for the bitterly cold snap is a blast of of freezing air from Russia which is set to grip the UK.
The cold blast has been dubbed the ‘beast from the east’.
Cold temperatures will be everywhere but it could be London and the south east which could suffer most.
Temperatures will also be extremely cold throughout the rest of the country – in fact, there will be no respite from the icy blast.
The ‘warmest’ place is set to be Northern Ireland, where cloud cover means temperatures will only dip as low as an expected -3.
Temperatures will be at their lowest overnight, but it will still be freezing during the day.
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Mr Bowles added: ‘We haven’t had temperatures that low in late February since 2013. It’s not unheard of. There are records that are lower than that. But it is quite unusual, particularly as it’s quite late in the season.’
He told Yahoo News that normal temperatures around this time should be around 8 degrees (46 Fahrenheit).
Although such freezing temperatures are expected in the Scottish Highlands, it is highly unusual for this time of year throughout the rest of the UK.
Sunday night to Tuesday morning are expected to be the coldest days, though the freezing temperatures will remain in place throughout the week.
‘The cold air will be around for the rest of the week,’ he said.
Ironically the coldest snap for several years comes just as the first day of spring officially arrives, said Mr Bowles.
‘We refer to March 1 as being the first day of spring and of course March 1 will be right in the middle of this cold spell,’ he added.