THE MET Office has issued an urgent cold weather warning as temperatures are set to plunge to as low as minus 10C.
The cold snap is due to a freezing storm known as the ‘Troll of Trondheim’ sweeping in from Norway.
A level 3, or amber, alert warns of freezing conditions between 6pm on Wednesday and 9am on Monday December 12, with social and healthcare services told to take action to protect high-risk groups.
The forecasters said that air from the Arctic will spread south across the nation, with very cold and frosty nights expected from the middle of the week.
The Met Office warned said that there is a 90 per cent probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions in the specified period.
“We can expect to see some snow and wintry showers further south as the week progresses, particularly in coastal areas or over higher ground,” said its deputy chief meteorologist Rebekah Sherwin.
“There will be widespread frosts with temperatures falling to as low as minus 10C overnight in isolated spots by the end of the week.”
The Met Office also warned that the weather could “disrupt the delivery of services”.
Wintry showers are likely in coastal areas and very cold nights are expected, with heavy frosts likely.
Daytime temperatures persisting near or just above freezing, with overnight temperatures continuing to trend downwards, said the forecasters.
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The amber alert is the second most severe possible, with only a level 4 red alert above it.
Snow is even forecast in the coming weeks, sparking hopes of a White Christmas.
The Met’s long range forecast for December 19 to January 2 said that a “transition between the cold and mild conditions” in this period brings the “risk of rain, with sleet and snow”.
Dustings of the white stuff are most likely to be seen on higher ground, especially in the Scottish Highlands.
A yellow weather warning for snow covers most of northern Scotland across all of Wednesday.
The Met says that roads and railways in these areas are “likely” to be affected by the freezing conditions.