The Met Office has set a yellow ‘be aware’ warning from Monday evening until Wednesday morning.
Cold air sweeping down from Greenland and Iceland will follow wet fronts moving in from the Atlantic, producing blizzard conditions on the hills and snow to low levels from 6pm tonight until 11am on Wednesday.
The Met Office expects disruption on the transport network, injuries due to trips and slips and potential power cuts caused by a series of lightning strikes.
Energy firms said they were moving repair teams into place to prepare for any difficulties.
Conditions have remained comparatively benign since the country was hit by Storms Dylan and Eleanor over New Year.
But strong winds of up to 54mph began to hit the west coast on Sunday, resulting in all 27 Cal Mac ferry routes being cancelled, delayed or disrupted.
The company said Monday’s early crossings between Ardrossan and Brodick have already been called off due to adverse weather conditions.
Passengers hoping to travel on the Oban to Castlebay route at any time this week should make the journey today, due to the severe weather expected later in the week.
Although it will be blustery at the start of the week, wind speeds are expected to pick up significantly on Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
The Met Office yellow ‘be aware’ warning for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday states:” Frequent and heavy hail and snow showers are likely to affect many parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland from Monday evening, continuing for much of the day on Tuesday.
“Travel delays on roads are possible, with a small chance of cancellations to public transport. There is a small chance that power cuts will occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.
“In addition, some roads and pavements may become icy, increasing the chance of injuries from slips and falls.
“This warning has been updated to extend its validity time into Wednesday.”
Schools in the north may be forced to close if roads become too dangerous to allow pupils to be transported safely.
Officials at Glasgow Airport will be anxious to avoid a repeat of last month’s performance, when snow closed the runways for several hours on two separate occasions.
Irrespective of any delays on the trains, Scotrail plan to hand passengers cups of tea and coffee today in a bid to “beat the blues with brews”.
Recognising that many people will be feeling low on Monday, the train company is teaming up with The Samaritans to explain how suicidal thoughts can emerge at this time of year.
Volunteers from the charity will be brewing up hot drinks and chatting to commuters at Glasgow Central, Edinburgh Waverley and Inverness stations to reveal how a friendly chat can set a sufferer on the road to recovery.