Scots have been warned temperatures could plummet to as low as -8C this week amid a yellow weather warning for heavy snow.
The Met Office said winds currently blowing from the east are expected to shift to the north, bringing an Arctic chill to the country and below-average temperatures for this time of year.
A yellow warning for snow has been put in place for the north east, Highlands, Orkney and Shetland on Wednesday, with disruption to public transport and roads expected.
Up to 5cm of snow is expected to fall in lower areas, rising to 10cm above 200m.
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “It’s going to turn even colder and feel even colder still with temperatures well below average for the time of year both by day and by night.”
He said that temperatures overnight Wednesday into Thursday would drop to -7C or -8C – or even colder.
He added: “We have a snow warning across the northern half of Scotland for Wednesday and that is when the snow showers coming from the north will be most impactful, they will probably start on Tuesday and we will see very significant snow in the north.
“It looks like it could last a week, the northerly flow is going to stay with us, it’s not going to be particularly unsettled, so there will be some showers, it’s mostly going to be largely dry but cold.
“From the middle of next week there are some signs we may see some more unsettled weather with milder weather coming up from the south but it’s far away at the moment.
“At the moment it is cloudy meaning there won’t be huge differences between daily highs and overnight lows but as we go through this week, we will get that cold northerly flow with clearer skies so sunny and crisp by day but even colder at night.”
He said temperatures dropped to -3.8C at Drumnadrochit near Inverness on Saturday night but temperatures should remain at about -2C at night time in Scotland for the next couple of days until the cold snap arrives on Wednesday.
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