A low pressure weather system developing in the Atlantic is set to clash with cold air across the UK, which could see rainfall turning to snow in some parts.
The Met Office said there was still uncertainty about how far the snow could extend into southern parts of England, but between 10cm and 20cm of snow is predicted across the Scottish Highlands and northern England.
A forecaster from the Met Office said: “Across central and eastern parts it will be colder than average, looking at highs between four and six degrees by day.
“At night time, we’ll see temperatures hitting freezing tonight and then see temperatures drop below freezing tomorrow.”
Temperatures are not forecast to edge higher than 2C in Edinburgh across Friday and Saturday as the chill sets in.
Glasgow will reach a maximum of 3C across the same two days, with the gauge to dip to freezing point at night.
Central England and Wales could see nighttime temperatures plummet to -7C, forecasters said.
High winds are also expected to sweep across the country, reaching between 40mph and 45mph.
Forecasters said the winds will ease for a time on Friday, but pick up again over the weekend due to the low pressure system.
Forecasters said the north-east of England was likely to see adverse weather conditions due to the boundary of warm and cold air.
It is anticipated the Met Office will tomorrow issue initial warnings of rain, sleet and snow for affected areas.
“We’ll see things turn a bit colder as we go through to the end of the week, Friday will be a cold day,” the Met Office said.
Looking ahead to the festive period, forecasters said the weather had the potential to be unsettled.