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Britain faces Snowmageddon as a week-long Icelandic shiver will send temperatures plummeting to below Norway's.
Up to 4in of snow is expected to fall in Scotland tomorrow night, December 2, spreading to higher ground in England on Thursday, December 4.
It is forecast to hit most of the UK on Friday, December 5.
Among the areas affected by the 900 mile-wide icy blast will be London, Portsmouth, Norwich, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester.
An inch of snow is expected to fall on southern hills and 3in in the north.
Temperatures in Scotland will slump to -7C (19F) – making the UK far colder than 8C Bergen in Norway.
Sleet and rain will also fall at times, according to forecaster MeteoGroup.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: "Winter is arriving with a bang. Don't forget cold weather car checks and slow down in wintry conditions.''
December's icy start will trigger memories of 2010's Big Freeze when Britain was hit by a month-long whiteout.
It could be the start of 24 days of winter chaos with temperatures plunging to -11C (12F).
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Northern England and Scotland are due up to 24 days of snow or ice, according to forecasters at The Weather Company.
Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: "Like clockwork, winter has started and we've issued our first snow and ice warning of the season.
"A massive shift in the jet stream means a significant shift in our weather pattern with the UK moving north of the jet stream into much colder air with rain and snow.''
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A Met Office forecaster said: "Colder conditions spread from Scotland to the entire UK on Thursday with hill snow, and the chance of low-level snow later in the week, although it is uncertain exactly where. Frosts could be sharp.
"Rather cold conditions look likely to continue into early next week.''
Leon Brown, head of meteorological operations at the Weather Channel, said: "18 to 24 days which have snow or ice and transport issues are expected in northern England and Scotland this winter, with 12 to 18 days for the South.
"Early winter cold means disruption in December being higher than recent years. Below -10C is likely in January in Scotland.''
- Met Office
- Weather Forecast
- UK Weather
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