The bright sunshine may herald a dramatic fall in temperatures to -15C in some parts of the UK amid forecasts for snow, ice and hail across the country.
The Met Office has issued yellow warnings, “be aware”, for Scotland, Wales, southwest and central England, with some areas expecting as much as 10-15cm of snow.
Temperatures are believed to drop to their coldest levels in two years over the coming weekend. Public Health England has urged people to look after elderly friends, relatives and neighbours as Age UK warned that one older person could die every seven minutes from the cold this winter.
A Met Office spokesperson told The Independent that the UK could expect the coldest weather overnight Sunday to Monday, but cautioned that forecasts of -15C would only be felt in Scottish glens and isolated northern pockets.
“For the most part, there will be widespread frost and further south we could see some areas dip below -3C. Areas in the south-east will probably hover around 0C,” he said.
“This coming night it will not be as cold in the south-east because there will be some showers across the south-east, which may turn to a dusting of snow."
He added: “Clear skies and light winds mean the land is losing its heat really quite quickly, which is not that unusual for this time of year but is different from last year when temperatures did not fall below -8C at their coldest.”
A weakened jet stream – previously supplying us with milder, windy conditions – has deepened and moved further south, turning weather conditions across the UK much colder.
“A cold and unstable northwesterly airflow will bring frequent showers to many northwestern parts of the UK, these turning to sleet and snow quite widely,” the Met Office’s chief forecaster said.
The coldest spell in England for two years, with Newcastle possibly feeling even colder.
A Met Office spokesperson continued: “An organised band of sleet and snow showers will reach Northern Scotland on Saturday evening, this spreading south to reach Southeast Scotland in the early hours of Sunday.”
UK winter weather
UK winter weather
1/30 UK winter weather
Cars make their way through the snow in the Loxley area of Sheffield
2/30 UK winter weather
A cyclist makes his way through a blizzard in Durham
3/30 UK winter weather
Heavy snow falls on the A690 into Durham
4/30 UK winter weather
Picture of snow taken through a window of a plane stuck at Manchester Airport
5/30 UK winter weather
A woman walks in heavy snow in the Loxley area of Sheffield
6/30 UK winter weather
Heavy snow in the Loxley area of Sheffield
7/30 UK winter weather
A snow covered Durham Cathedral
8/30 UK winter weather
Snow covered graves at St Joseph's Church in west Belfast, as an orange weather alert is announced in Northern Ireland
9/30 UK winter weather
Sheep in snow, in the Glens of Antrim, as an orange weather alert is announced in Northern Ireland
10/30 UK winter weather
Snow Blizzards on the A9 road near Blackford, Perthshire as snow blizzards sweep across the country
11/30 UK winter weather
A cyclist on Dumbarton Road in Stirling during a snow blizzard
12/30 UK winter weather
A dog walker walks through the Kings Knot area below Stirling Castle during a snow blizzard
13/30 UK winter weather
Vehicles driving down Dumbarton Road in Stirling during a snow blizzard
14/30 UK winter weather
Scotrail train travels through snow covered country side near Lenzie, Scotland
15/30 UK winter weather
A man digs his car out of the snow near Shaw, northern England
16/30 UK winter weather
A dog walker in the snow on the Pennine hilltops near Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales, as many parts of the UK were on snow alert with wintry showers threatening to disrupt travel
John Giles/PA Wire
17/30 UK winter weather
A snow plough on the A93 near Guildtown, as snow brings fresh disruption to parts of the UK
Danny Lawson/PA Wire
18/30 UK winter weather
Andrew Millington (left) and Stephen Peacock walk near the Spittal of Glenshee as snow brings fresh disruption to parts of the UK
Danny Lawson/PA Wire
19/30 UK winter weather
Snow covers the A68 near Corbridge in Northumberland, as many parts of the UK were on snow alert with wintry showers threatening to disrupt travel
Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
20/30 UK winter weather
A car makes its way through snowfall in Gortin near Omagh, as many parts of the UK were on snow alert with wintry showers threatening to disrupt travel
Niall Carson/PA Wire
21/30 UK winter weather
Sleaford Lincolnshire in the snow Boxing Day 2014
22/30 UK winter weather
Snow at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport, which closed temporarily on Friday night
23/30 UK winter weather
Maisy Byrne, aged nine, (left) and sister Lulu Byrne, aged seven, have fun as snow falls on Boxing Day in Gateacre, Liverpool
Peter Byrne/PA Wire
24/30 UK winter weather
A decorative snowman surrounded by real snow outside a house in Eccleston Park, near Prescot, Merseyside
25/30 UK winter weather
Maisy Byrne, 9, left, and sister Lulu Byrne, 7, have fun as snow falls in Gateacre, Liverpool
26/30 UK winter weather
Snowfall in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire on Boxing Day
27/30 UK winter weather
A man pushing a motorcycle through snow in Newtown Linford, Leicestershire on Boxing Day
28/30 UK winter weather
On the M6 near Sandbach
29/30 UK winter weather
Snow swirling around the grounds of Lichfield Cathedral on Boxing Day
30/30 UK winter weather
Referee Mark Clattenburg during the Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns in the Midlands
Northern and western Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England will experience some heavy showers this morning, with many a mixture of hail, snow or sleet. Forecasters warned motorists to beware ice on many of the roads.
The Highways Agency has warned drivers to expect “difficult” driving conditions.
At the end of the weekend the cold snap may give way to blustery showers across central and southern England, but with the possibility of more snow overnight if the temperature remains low.
As the cold weather continues Public Health England urged people to look after elderly friends, relatives and neighbours.Reuse content