BITTER snow and ice warnings are in place throughout the UK until Sunday as temperatures plummet and drivers face chaos.
The Met Office has today extended its yellow weather warnings for a further three days, after revealing temperatures could drop to a bone-chilling -10C this week.
Meteorologists have warned motorists that the wintery conditions could see icy patches form over roads, and urged drivers to take extra care.
Brits already battled a day of below-zero conditions, with the wild weather seeing schools close and causing chaos on the roads yesterday.
A brutal blast of Arctic air from Norway could freeze the country for at least a week and temperatures dropped as low as -8.9C on Wednesday night.
That freezing low was recorded in Shap, Cumbria, the Met Office said.
Yellow weather warnings had already been issued for much of Scotland, England and Wales for ice since yesterday.
And a map showed that heavy snow could hit within days as temperatures are set to drop to a bone-chilling -10C.
Snow could fall in northern Scotland, a weather warning suggested – and up to six inches are predicted to fall this week.
And a strong northerly wind is likely to cause drifting and blizzard conditions in some areas, weather experts suggested.
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The Met Office also said that thundersnow has also been observed yesterday morning in north east Scotland – a phenomenon where thunderstorms form and give rise to downpours of snow.
The ‘Troll of Trondheim’ caused disruption by forcing many schools in Scotland to close or delay their opening times yesterday.
Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin said there could also be significant snow in central parts of England and Wales in one model for next week.
One predicted mid-week scenario shows heavy snow across the South with significant snow in the midlands.
This scenario has a 30 per cent chance, according to the Met Office.
A second scenario with 70 per cent chance suggests cold winds and snow showers will come down covering Scotland and the East of England.
Snow is also set to fall across the south coast in this scenario.
Traffic cops begged motorists to slow down because of the icy weather.
One officer in Devon said tons of autumn leaves still carpet many roads, specially in rural areas.
“The leaves are lying on the road surface like a carpet and when there’s freezing weather, they form an icy mush which is very slippery.
“Many drivers are going recklessly fast – a touch of the brakes and they could slide out of control.”
It comes as fire chiefs also warned that people snuggling up in bed could become human torches – their electric blanket might burst into flames.
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue and the Public Protection Partnership, which oversees trading standards in the county, conducted free electric blanket testing for local residents – and found alarming results.
A string of test sites were set up in Theale, Newbury, Wokingham and Crowthorne and of the 17 blankets that people brought in, only four – less than a quarter – were declared completely safe.
Though it was a small sample, fire chiefs said there was no reason to believe it did not show a widespread problem.
The testers advised thirteen of the blanket owners that theirs were so unsafe, they should not use them.
It comes after 2,000 homes in Sheffield were left without heating for five days, with a major incident declared.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also agreed emergency planning, which includes sheltering homeless people from the severe weather.
And the Met Office warned of a -10C bone chiller that could last for a week.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We are in this pattern for seven days at least.
“We could see it continue for a while longer, there’s uncertainty in the evolution and how long it will last.
“However, the pattern for the next seven days is that it will remain cold and we will see double digit minus figures overnight in areas that are prone to frosts and areas where there is lying snow.”