3HEAVY snow is set to bring chaos to London and southern England within the next 48 hours, Met Office forecasters have warned.
Up to four inches of snow could fall in just a few hours according to the latest weather maps, sparking mayhem on deadly roads just as millions are being forced onto them by a series of massive nationwide rail strikes.
The weather warnings come as forecasters stressed the UK will see at least another seven days of Arctic weather, with temperatures set to plunge to minus 10C.
The Met Office has issued a yellow snow and ice warning for London and southern England for Sunday and Monday as well as a swathe of warnings for the rest of the United Kingdom.
Met Office forecaster Grahame Madge said: “The outlook for the UK remains cold at least for the next seven days, with the potential for this to continue even longer.
Heavy snow is expected across much of the UK in the next three days Meteociel
“Overnight temperatures are likely to dip widely below zero with some more sheltered spots dropping to minus 10C.
“Our forecasters are looking at the possibility of snow affecting the south east of England on Sunday night and into Monday morning. If this happens it could bring disruption to Monday’s rush hour.”
The Met Office has issued a string of weather warnings for heavy snow and ice Met Office
Jim Dale, from British Weather Services, warned: "The Beast from the East is still slumbering across Russia, the Troll from Trondheim is bringing northerly winds to the UK and the Pest from the West is waiting in the wings.
“The latter is a low-pressure system in the Atlantic, and if it moves towards Britain, where we have cold air in situ, it could bring snow and here we would be talking of blizzards, perhaps to southern and western regions.”
Snow is expected to hit much of the UK on Sunday as freezing air sweeps in from the Arctic WX CHARTS
He added: “Now we are looking at a proper northerly plunge.
“We could see overnight temperatures dipping to -10C, and there will be a risk of frost through the week.
“Towards the end of the week, snow is likely over north Scotland, although the southwest low might affect the southern counties.”
Mr Dale also claimed Britain could be facing a White Christmas for the first time in more than a decade.
"This year is the most likely to get a proper, universal White Christmas since the big freeze of 2010," he said."
Heavy snowfall could blanket much of London and southern England by Monday morning PA
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Tony Wardle, said: “Uncertainties in the forecast start to develop as we head through next week with models offering two possible scenarios.
"We could continue in an easterly airflow, or we could see air crossing the UK from the north. Both these scenarios will result in cold weather.
"Of the two scenarios a northerly airflow is slightly more likely and will result in brighter, but colder weather with much of the UK seeing daytime temperatures not reaching more than 0C – 4°C by day and -2 to -6 overnight.
"While snow is possible in both scenarios, in a northerly airflow snow showers are slightly more likely with wintry showers possible to lower levels."
Snow warning: Cold air over the UK is set to smash into a warmer, wetter Atlantic front WX CHARTS
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis warned drivers to be on their guard this weekend.
He said: "With temperatures plummeting many drivers might be taken aback by the cold after an exceptionally mild autumn.
"Our advice is to be winter ready – check tyres are properly inflated and with good tread, while topping up oil, coolant and screen wash levels if needed.
"Drivers with older batteries in their cars might also wish to give their vehicle a 20-minute drive before colder conditions arrive to ensure the battery can cope with sub-zero temperatures.
"It’s also worth having a fully-charged mobile phone and carrying a blanket in case of a breakdown to keep warm.”