Severe weather warnings have been put in place up and down Britain, with Northern Ireland already seeing snow covering most of the country.
The polar airmass is set to sweep across Britain as it approaches from Canada, bringing freezing temperatures and a 100mph winds.
Up to eight inches of snow could fall in some parts of the country and temperatures could drop below zero during the day, with wind chill effects making temperatures feel even colder.
Paul Gunderson, chief meteorologist, said the North of Britain was likely to see the worst of the weather, saying, “Most northern areas are very likely to see snow showers at times over the next few days, but the situation over the southern half of England is more complicated.
“Southern counties of England and Wales can expect a cold and wet day with some heavy rain on Thursday, but there’s an increasing chance this will turn to sleet or snow, especially over hills, during the afternoon and evening.
“There is a chance of snow settling bringing disruption to transport during the evening rush hour and possibly interruptions to power supplies, this more likely across East Anglia and south-east England.”
The weather is already having an unsettling effect.
High winds have brought power cuts to hundreds of homes, and caused traffic accidents, as 90mph winds overturned trucks.
Around 550 people are currently without power in Yorkshire, and a truck has overturned on Edinburgh’s Forth Road Bridge. Nobody was hurt but the bridge is closed both ways. The driver has been charged.
A Police Scotland, spokesman said, “A 54-year-old man has been charged following a collision on the Forth Road Bridge at around 2am on January 11. A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”
Britain has historically not been very good at coping with bad weather. Horrendous traffic jams, accidents, and icy roads are often the norm. No doubt this year will be no different.