Temperatures are expected to plunge to -6C (21F) across the UK as an arctic blast sweeps in a blanket of sleet and snow. The UK has already endured colder temperatures this week, with the mercury having dropped to -9.9C (15F) overnight in parts of Scotland.
The introduction of a band of high pressure from the arctic is expected to increase the likelihood of snowfall across several regions of Britain, as well as bringing an icy sleet.
The severity of the arctic blast has forced weather forecasters to warn drivers over hazardous conditions as a result of freezing fog.
The Met Office has in place a yellow warning of fog across the Midlands for Saturday morning.
The warning explains that there is likely to be some travel disruption across parts of Birmingham, Nottingham, Peterborough, Stoke-on-Trent and Norwich.
It also states that delays or cancellations to flights are possible.
The Met Office has also issued a danger to life ice warning overnight as the mercury plummets.
Temperatures won’t exceed 4C (39F) over the weekend, an unusually bitter cold for this time of year.
The south of England will largely escape any serious icy conditions, with the north and much of Wales being victim to the harsh conditions.
Experts warn that an increase in wind speeds could also make Brits feel much colder – as low as -12C (10F).
Forecasts for December paint a fairly volatile start to the festive month, with snow, sleet, rain and freezing surfaces all real threats.
The Met Office said: “Although not all areas will be affected, fog patches, some dense with visibility below 100m are expected to develop during Friday night and persist well into Saturday morning.
“Some places will hang on to grey and misty conditions all day.”
The freezing temperatures are a result of cold air moving in from the Arctic.
This air is sweeping across much of Europe, blanketing Britain in a chill before it moves further east and south.
Ben Rich, the BBC’s meteorologist, said: “Cold air is lunging in from the Arctic to bring a different feel to the weather across Europe as we head into the weekend.
“Low pressure from the north is bringing some snowfall into the north and west of Norway and bringing chilly air right down the continent.
“Towards the southeast there is some unsettled weather in the Balkans and some thunderstorms in Turkey.
“We can see the effects of the cold air though, 7C in Budapest.”
Thursday was described as the “transition” day, as the UK readies itself for a week of intensely cold weather which is expected to ease up after the weekend.