Homes in northern Scotland will be the first battered by freezing temperatures as mercury plummets below the seasonal average, forecasters have warned.
A sudden cold snap will start on Monday, with temperatures falling below zero across the country and peaking at just 4C (39.2F) or 5C (41F), Meteogroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said.
Forecasters are predicting 'horrible' conditions across northern Scotland
North-westerly winds whipping off the Arctic are expected to bring at least two weeks of near-freezing conditions, making November up to 3C (5.4F) colder than last year.
People in the higher regions of Scotland will wake up to the season's first blanketing of snow, the forecaster predicted. Further wintry showers are expected to move south as the week progresses.
A Meteogroup forecaster said: "It does look like much of the UK is in for a cold spell through next week. For at least a week, there will be cold north-westerly winds.
"Temperatures through next week will be much lower than recently and generally below the November average. It will struggle to get up to four or five degrees and during the nights temperatures will be below zero quite widely, meaning frost across most places.
"There will be some snow but mostly confined to north Wales and northern Scotland - where there will be a few centimetres - and a few wintry showers elsewhere.
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"On Wednesday night, there will be some fairly heavy snow showers in Scotland, with 5-8cm and some chance of drifting over the hills. Conditions look pretty horrible across northern Scotland."
He added that there was a possibility for snow to move into southern areas as the cold winds move down across the country.
He said: "Into the week ahead, it will remain cold but there will probably be dry weather in most areas. At the moment we're not seeing much snow; there may be some but not any significant amount of that would settle.
"It will be cold for quite a long prolonged period, certainly through to next week."