Ground temperatures across much of the country are expected to hover just above freezing on Wednesday and Thursday, providing the necessary conditions for heavy snowfall.
Alex Burkill, meterologist at the Met Office - which has imposed yellow weather warnings across Scotland - said that freezing rain could turn to snow over parts of Scotland and north-east England from Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
“Through Thursday itself there’ll be further rain across the bulk of the UK and this could bring some fairly significant snow a bit further southwards through Thursday,” he said.
“By Thursday afternoon we could be looking at the risk of snow across many parts of northern England and into the Midlands and perhaps a little bit further east as well.”
Though there are warnings of as much as 30cm of snow in Scotland, Mr Burkill said that rainfall would “go some way to preventing much snow lying” elsewhere through Thursday in particular.
It is possible temperatures will plunge further next week, Mr Burkill said, and there is “very much a possibility” of a Beast from the East 2 in the “middle of next week”.
The first Beast from the East, the name given to the significant snowfall in February 2018, happened when a sudden stratospheric warming event sent freezing winds from Siberia.
Mr Burkill said that for such weather to occur next week, “what we’d need is a blocking area of high pressure, particularly to the north of the UK, and that would then drag in that cold easterly wind”.
“There are some signs that we could get something similar to that during the middle part of next week so that’s what we’re looking out for,” he said.
“It’s too early to say with any confidence, however there are some signs.
“Some models are suggesting we could get cold air coming from the east, north-east which at this time of year is very cold indeed, but it’s by no means a guarantee.”