Storm Darcy is set to bring heavy snow and gale force winds to parts of England, while cold air from Russia will make the first February weekend feel anything but spring-like.
Forecasters have issued yellow warnings for snow covering the length of Britain from Saturday, with a more serious amber warning in place for Scotland’s central Highlands.
Rain is expected to move westwards over the UK throughout the day, with heavy falls early through Lancashire and across into the West Riding.
The storm has also led the Met Office to issue an amber warning for snow for the south-east of England from early on Sunday morning.
There is a chance a few places could see as much as 20cm of snow, forecasters have warned.
The Met Office said the Dutch have named the low-pressure system that will bring strong winds and widespread snow to south east England on Sunday as Storm Darcy.
Places within the amber warning expected to be hit by Darcy include Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent.
Roads may become blocked by deep snow, with the possibility of many stranded vehicles and passengers.
Cold air emanating from Russia and Eastern Europe will move across the UK over the coming days, bringing “significant” snow to parts of Eastern England and Scotland, forecasters said.
Daytime temperatures will stay in low single figures for much of the country, with some places staying below freezing and the bitter winds making it feel even colder.
Met Office forecaster Steven Keates joked that there seems to be a Jane Austen connection to the chilly weather in the UK, with Storm Emma back in 2018 and now Storm Darcy – both names being synonymous with the English novelist.
He said the worst of the weather will be seen in parts of east Norfolk, east Suffolk, down towards Kent and around the Thames Estuary.
Keates said even central London could expect a few centimetres of snow.
Met Office chief meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “The UK is in for a notably cold and snowy period over the next week, with very cold air in place over the whole of the UK by Sunday.
“Showers will see snow accumulating across eastern areas. Within the amber warning area, more widespread snow is expected and we could see 5-10 cm of snow quite widely, with a chance that a few places could see 20cm or more.”