Forecasters expect the mercury to begin falling on Wednesday as the recent weeks’ milder weather is replaced by cold winds, rain and even snow.
Stephen Dixon from the Met Office said temperatures will begin to fall in Scotland and the north of England and moving further south as the week progresses.
“From Wednesday, highs will be around 9C, but lows overnight into Thursday will go down to -4 in rural Scotland,” he said.
Many places will see wintry showers of rain, Mr Dixon added, with those in Scotland and living on higher ground seeing precipitation falling as snow.
“That being said, there will be some clear spells on Wednesday in the south and southwest, with an area of cloud and rain in the northwest.”
Similar conditions will unfold on Thursday and Friday for most parts of Britain, with windy, cold conditions everywhere causing small outbreaks of snow in the coldest and highest regions.
“Into Friday the theme continues: a cold start for most with overnight temperatures widely around freezing overnight and in rural areas down to minus two or three degrees,” Mr Dixon said.
“There will be some cloud and rain and stronger winds continuing in the northwest and extending further south later in the day.”
Although conditions earlier this month have been unseasonably mild, the coming cold snap will see highs in most places of little more than 7C, noticeably colder than the historic November average for the UK.
Although no weather warnings have been issued yet by the Met Office, Mr Dixon said this could change as the weather system draws nearer the UK and computer models have greater certainty about which regions will be worst affected.
“There are some model differences as we head later into the week of the exact location of these stronger winds, so there’s still a bit of ground to play out as to how the weather picture unfolds over the next couple of days.”
It looked as though the wintry turn will last as well, as a system of high pressure is set to sit out to sea to the southwest of the UK, meaning most in the north will continue seeing chilly rain showers and cold temperatures into the longer term, Mr Dixon added.
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