We have had a very mild start to 2013 but Met Office forecasters are predicting that it will turn colder over the next few days.
Whilst temperatures are set to be much lower than the last week or so, there is a lot of uncertainty about how long the cold weather will stay with us and exactly which areas of the UK will see snow.
The reason for the cold weather is that an area of high pressure develops over Scandinavia, allowing cold air from the Baltic and western Russia to move towards the UK. At the same time milder air and Atlantic weather systems are trying to push in from the west, leaving the UK as the battle ground where they meet.
Paul Gundersen, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said: "All parts of the UK will see cold weather setting in over the weekend. We can expect sleet and snow showers to affect eastern areas at times, but with a battle developing between the cold air in the east and mild air pushing in from the west, no one should be surprised to see sleet or snow over the weekend and next week."
Throughout the winter, the Met Office works with the Department of Health and NHS to help keep people well at times of severe weather. Our specially produced health forecasts, such as Healthy Outlook for COPD patients, give professionals and patients the opportunity to take action to help keep them well during cold weather.