Up to two feet of snow is expected in some areas as a UK recovering from flood misery prepares itself for an Arctic blast.
Temperatures are set to plummet this weekend to as low as -10C as showers turn to snow in the north of the country by Friday.
However, heavy rain across the country is forecast before the temperature drop leads to heavy snow in the Highlands with flurries in the south next week.
Frost and bitter winds are expected across the whole country with sub-zero overnight temperatures meaning potential danger from already wet roads freezing as well as snow falling on flooded ground.
However, rain will still be a problem with the Met Office issuing severe weather warnings for Scotland and Northern Ireland tomorrow and Thursday with more than three inches expected to fall.
Met Office spokesperson Grahame Madge said: “There are further warnings in place for Thursday with heavy rain, especially in the north bringing a further risk of flooding.
“It is going to feel quite cold with strong winds associated with the new front which moves slowly across the country.
“The northeast faces heavy and persistent rain with widespread showers expected.”
The prediction of wintry conditions comes as official figures confirm that last month was the wettest and mildest December on record, as well as the wettest month in history.
Average temperatures of 7.9C beat 1934’s high of 6.9C, while 50 inches (1,289mm) of rain secured the unwanted honour of wettest December on record.