'The Beast from the East' is to breathe a chilling cloak of Siberian air over Britain at the weekend, as a freezing front from Russia could mean temperatures drop as low as -7C in places.

The Met Office has issued a cold weather alert for large swathes of England, warning people of the health impact of such freezing conditions. Rated 'amber', the alert is only one level from the most severe warning.

snow

A woman clears her car from snow in Banockburn


A frigid wind is expected to sweep the entire country as temperatures struggle to rise above 4C or 5C during the day.

Snow is forecast to fall in the East and hilly parts of the South East on Friday.

stirling castle

Two men walk across the graveyard of Stirling castle in the snow


The white stuff is already falling on higher ground across Scotland, but will struggle to settle after sleet showers.

The rain and sleet will move southwards over the country while other parts will stay dry following clear spells.

The rain could freeze with ice causing treacherous conditions on roads in the north and the east of England.

gloucester

Ice warnings have been issued


Flood warnings have been issued in the East and South West, with all other counties on flood alerts. However there is a silver lining: with plenty of sunshine forecast on Saturday morning, most of Britain will have a crisp and clear start to the weekend.

More snow is expected on Monday, with forecasters warning it could "obliterate" East Anglia, according to Sky News.

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  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Tourists take pictures in front of the Robert The Bruce statue on Stirling Castle Esplanade on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Two men walk through Stirling Castle graveyard on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland.Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds.. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Snow settles on the Robert The Bruce statue on Stirling Castle Esplanade on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland.Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: A view of the Wallace Monument and Stirling Bridge on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Snow settles on gravestones in Stirling Castle graveyard on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland.Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: A man and woman walk their dog in Stirling Castle graveyard on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland.Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Snow settles on the Robert The Bruce statue on Stirling Castle Esplanade on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland.Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: A man walks his dog past Stirling Castle graveyard on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland.Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Two men walk through Stirling Castle graveyard on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Two men walk through Stirling Castle graveyard on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: A man walks his two dogs past Stirling Castle graveyard on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: A man walks his dog past Stirling Castle graveyard on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Tourists take pictures in front of the Robert The Bruce statue on Stirling Castle Esplanade on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Two tourists throw snowballs in front of the Robert The Bruce statue on Stirling Castle Esplanade on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • UK Set For Continued Cold Snap As Snow Arrives

    STIRLING, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: A view of the Wallace Monument and Stirling Bridge on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    A small snow plough clears paths in Tow Law in County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    A small snow plough clears paths in Tow Law in County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    Sheep out in a snow covered field in County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    Horses out in a snow covered field in County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    Snow covered fields in County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    Snow covered fields in Consett, County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    Snow covered fields in Consett, County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    A small snow plough clears paths in Tow Law in County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    A train at Durham station in County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    Snow covered fields near Tow Law in County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 3rd

    Snow covered fields near Tow Law in County Durham today after overnight snow.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    A red squirrel runs along a snow covered wall in Northumberland, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with more snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    A red squirrel runs along a snow covered wall in Northumberland, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with more snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    A red squirrel runs along a snow covered wall in Northumberland, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with more snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    A robin sits on a snow covered fence post in Northumberland, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with more snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    A man walks his dog on frozen flood water at York Knavesmire, North Yorkshire, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with more snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    A man walks his dog on frozen flood water at York Knavesmire, North Yorkshire, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with more snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    People walk on frozen flood water at York Racecourse, North Yorkshire, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with more snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    People walk on frozen flood water at York Racecourse, North Yorkshire, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with more snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    The Malvern Hills are seen at dawn across frozen farmland surrounding Gloucester, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    People walk their dogs at Crickley Hill Country Park as they look over frozen farmland surrounding Gloucester, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    People walk their dogs at Crickley Hill Country Park as they look over frozen farmland surrounding Gloucester, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 2nd

    The Malvern Hills are seen at dawn across frozen farmland surrounding Gloucester, as cold weather sweeps across the UK with snow expected this evening.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    A boy plays on a snow covered trampoline in the Scottish Borders, after snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    A vehicle drives along a snow covered road in the Scottish Borders, after snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    A walker in looks at ice at he stands in the snow at Kielder Water, Northumberland, after snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    A boy plays on a snow covered trampoline in the Scottish Borders, after snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    A dog walker on a snow covered road in the Scottish Borders, after snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    A man walks past snow covered logs at Kielder Water, Northumberland, after snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    Snow covers a bridleway on Carlton Bank in the Cleveland Hills, North Yorkshire, after Snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    Snow covered fields on Carlton Bank in the Cleveland Hills, North Yorkshire, after Snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    Walkers Norman Raine (left) and Bill Jones (right) on the snow covered bridleway on Carlton Bank in the Cleveland Hills, North Yorkshire, after Snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    Walkers on the snow covered bridleway on Carlton Bank in the Cleveland Hills, North Yorkshire, after Snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    Sheep in the snow on Carlton Bank in the Cleveland Hills, North Yorkshire, after Snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

  • Winter weather December 1st

    Walker Norman Raine on the snow covered bridleway on Carlton Bank in the Cleveland Hills, North Yorkshire, after Snow fell across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

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