The savage turn in the weather will plunge the country into winter lockdown, with blistering Polar gales, several feet of snow and near-record low temperatures set to stay until March.
Temperatures are to plummet to as low as -13C on Scotland and northern England as freezing winds drive in from Siberia and the North Pole over the weekend.
Forecasters fear the worst cold snap in at least five years – when heavy snow grounded planes and streets were iced over for weeks.
Police are warning people against all but essential travel in flood-hit Scotland, which is braced for up to two feet of snow to plunge the region into more misery.
There will be a brief mild spell next week, but scourging Arctic winds will follow, with the temperate winter to turn into one of the coldest spells in 50 years.
Weather models show the whole country blanketed in deep snow by the end of this month with heavy falls as far south as London.