A BIG freeze will see temperatures plummet to -4C in a two-day cold snap that takes hold from today – and snow may well fall next week.
Autumn has so far seen plenty of sunshine, with bookies predicting October will be the warmest on record.
But balmy days are coming to an end and Brits have been told to dig out their winter coats as a chilly blast roars in.
Forecasters believe a freezing polar vortex could blast in within weeks – bringing with it a white Halloween for some.
Weather maps suggest parts of Scotland will be the first-hit, with snow set to fall within days.
Clare Nasir of the Met Office said: "Over the next 24 hours, cold air will stream in from the north.
"You'll really notice the difference if you're stepping outside in the north and east of the country on Friday morning."
Today will remain sunny and bright for most before a cold night brings frost.
"There's a mostly dry night to come, with some breaks in the cloud allowing some mist and fog to form in England and Wales, particularly towards the south and the west," Ms Nasir said.
"If you catch some sunshine today, temperatures are reaching to 17C – a pleasant day outside.
"Through Thursday evening and into Friday morning, we watch as this rain continues its passage southwards from Scotland to England and Wales.
"Expect a fairly widespread frost as we head through the early hours of Friday morning across more rural spots where temperatures will be -2C to -4C."
The weekend will also bring more chilly weather overnight.
"Through Saturday, slowly but surely the winds will pick up from the west eventually bringing more cloud," Ms Nasir said.
"It'll be dry through daylight hours before more rain arrives later on towards the west.
"Watch out for the night frosts as we head into the first part of the weekend."
Her colleague Aidan McGivern warned of a wet and wild week from Monday.
"A low will send an increasingly strong south-westerly wind across the UK," he said.
"South-westerlys are usually mild and moist, but this one could contain some sub-tropical moisture.
"As a result, there's a risk of some very heavy rain in western parts of the UK – some impactful, wet weather from the start of next week.
"Also, the energy from that could cause some very strong winds from start of next week as that low edges even closer to north-western parts of the UK."
WRAP UP WARM
After the rain, millions are set to see snow.
Parts of Wales and Scotland could be blanketed by 6am on October 24.
And even southern coastlines could get a dusting in a "rare" forecast last seen in 2008.
Harry Aitkenhead of bookies Coral's says it's odds on that snow will fall in a major UK city by the end of the month.
"We better make the most of any balmy temperatures because the end of October looks set to be a big freeze, so much so that we make it odds on for snow to fall this month in the UK," said Coral's Harry Aitkenhead.
"We make it a 2-1 chance that this winter goes into the record books as the coldest the UK has ever had."
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