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New deep freeze to sweep across UK bringing 13 inches of snow and extreme cold

Britons are set to get a short break from the bitter cold as mild temperatures sweep across the country – but another freeze will soon grip the UK, bringing heavy snow.

Temperatures will hit 10C in many places on Friday and Saturday before they nosedive again from Sunday, marking a quick return to uncomfortable and dangerous weather conditions.

Some forecasts claim parts of the country could be blanketed with up to 13ins (33cm) of snow by the end of next week.

Ice, widespread frost and fog will be a problem again – with wintry weather expected to last through the end of the month and into February.

Friday is off to a foggy or misty start in places, and the Met Office is predicting a mild but cloudy and breezy day.

Patchy rain and drizzle will fall in northern and western parts, but it will be clear from the south and east, with brighter spells.

Temperatures will be several degrees milder than Thursday, hitting about 10C in the warmest spots.

However, the mild temperatures will not be enjoyable in places where it is wet and/or windy.

Friday night will be a similar story, with cloudy, breezy and mild conditions.

Patchy rain or drizzle is expected over some western areas, and persistent heavier rain will move across northern Scotland overnight.

Heavy rain and strong winds will batter northern Scotland on Saturday before moving west and turning to snow in the far north.

Eastern England will stay dry, bright and breezy.

The weather will get worse from Sunday, which will be colder and brighter, but windy with wintry showers.

Temperatures will begin to fall with further wintry showers and heavy snow expected from Monday.

Next week, overnight temperatures could hit -10C again in the north.

The latest weather maps suggest parts of the Scottish Highlands could see up to 13ins of snow by the end of next week, the Express reported.

Up to 7ins could fall in Northern Ireland, 5ins in Wales and northern England, 3.5ins as far south as the Home Counties in England, and possibly a dusting in London next Friday (February 1).

Cold and snow conditions are expected to last for weeks.

Earlier this month, the Met Office said it could not rule out a repeat of last year’s ‘Beast from the East’, which caused widespread chaos as heavy snow fell across the country and temperatures dropped below zero in most places.

Met Office five-day weather forecast

Friday

Cloudy, mild and breezy.

Patchy rain and drizzle will persist in some northern and western parts, but clear from the south and east, allowing brighter spells to develop.

The southeast will be several degrees milder than yesterday.

Friday night

A similar story as the daytime, with cloudy, breezy and mild conditions.

Many places will stay dry, but patchy rain or drizzle will affect some western parts.

Persistent heavier rain will develop in northern Scotland.

Saturday

Heavy rain and strong winds in northern Scotland will spread to other western parts, turning to snow in the far north.

Eastern England will stay dry, bright and breezy.

Sunday to Tuesday

Sunday will be colder and brighter but still windy with wintry showers.

Monday and Tuesday will be less windy but still cold, with further wintry showers.

Cold and snow to persist into February

Here is the Met Office’s outlook for Tuesday 29 January to Thursday 7 February:

"Cold with blustery wintry showers on Tuesday, these will be most frequent across western parts, although some central and eastern parts staying predominately dry with sunny spells.

"Wednesday will see a mixture of sunny spells and wintry showers, although less frequent and mainly confined to eastern parts.

"Beyond midweek, the unsettled weather looks set to continue, with further bands of rain and hill snow moving east or southeast across the UK, interspersed with brighter showery interludes.

"Snow remains a risk, mostly in the north, but perhaps further south too, and frosts will be quite widespread.

"There is still a chance that even colder conditions may develop during early February with winds swinging round to the east or northeast, bringing an increased possibility of snow."

Severe frost and heavy snow warning

The Met Office’s outlook for Friday 8 February to Friday 22 February looks just as grim.

It says: "This period will most likely start changeable and cold, with spells of rain and hill snow, occasional stronger winds, and brighter showery interludes.

"As we head further through February there is an increased chance of seeing very cold conditions developing with a greater probability of northeasterly or easterly winds.

"This will bring an increased risk of widespread, perhaps severe frosts as well as snow, especially in eastern areas.

"In this scenario the driest conditions will be across the west and northwest, whilst the south could see wetter and occasionally milder spells, bringing the risk of some significant snow, but only if very cold air becomes established across much of the UK."

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