A yellow severe weather warning has been issued and is set to affect most parts of the country as the spring season officially begins.
The cold spell is down to air coming in from the Arctic, which will bring frequent wintry showers across Scotland and widespread sleet and snow.
At least 1cm is likely to fall in most places, with more than 5cm predicted on higher ground.
Temperatures will plummet, dropping below freezing in many parts and reaching as low as -4C in some places overnight.
The Met Office is urging caution as rain showers today turn increasingly to snow and hail this evening, overnight and into tomorrow morning.
Snow will lie mainly on hills but also at lower levels in some areas.
Forecasters say ice is also likely to form on untreated surfaces, whilst lightning may be an additional hazard.
They warn that the wintry weather may lead to difficult driving conditions and disruption to transport.
Traffic Scotland has also warned motorists across Scotland to take extra care on roads.
Showers will continue through Tuesday, though lying snow is expected to melt below 300m.
The cold snap is expected to last until the middle of the week, before a band of higher pressure moves in.