THE UK has been warned to brace for snow and a "dangerous" weather freeze this weekend which is forecast to spark "mayhem" across the country.
A chilling polar vortex has swept the UK with a bitterly cold Arctic ice blast, keeping temperatures close to zero tomorrow says Met Office.
The Icelandic chill struck this morning with Brits waking up to freezing radiation fog and lows of -1 during rush hour.
And it will get even colder tonight with snow set to fall next week.
A Met Office forecaster told Sun Online: "Temperatures will drop below freezing tonight, creating widespread frost, so people should expect to scrape their windscreens tomorrow morning.
"Temperatures will not rise past 6C in the south, and it will be even colder in the north with 3C expected. But saturday night, the mercury will drop to as low as -7C in both towns and isolated spots."
Parts of the UK were given cold weather alerts from Public Health England and the Met Office after Brits endured the coldest night of winter yesterday.
Dr Emer O’Connell, public health consultant at Public Health England said: “Every winter thousands of people die a death that is linked to cold.
"For the next few days it is really important for us all to keep a look out for the people we know who could be affected, and make sure they get the help and support they need to stay well this winter."
Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, told the Guardian the cold snap would heap pressure on overstretched NHS services.
He said: “Influenza is here and is already impacting the NHS and, with colder weather starting to set in, this will further stress already stretched services.
“I and many colleagues across the country are anticipating mayhem this weekend as temperatures drop, but it will come as no surprise to us,”
A cold weather alert has been issued for the Midlands and northern England.
The level two alert is for social and healthcare services in northern and western areas until midnight on Saturday as there is a severe health risk for vulnerable patients in the freezing conditions.
The very young, old and those with chronic diseases are most at risk as this prolonged chilly spell is called "dangerous" by experts.
Freezing conditions have swept over from Iceland in a movement of high pressure bringing a cold northerly air.
Cooling of the earth by thermal radiation causes the air close to the surface to also cool, reducing its ability to hold moisture and allows condensation and fog to form.
Today will be bright, even sunny, in the south – but it will be grim up north with cloud and rapidly declining temperatures.
A Met Office spokesman: "I'll be a dry, cold and often cloudy day with any freezing fog patches slow to clear.
"Isolated showers are likely in the far north/northwest, and southeastern coasts, with the best of any sunshine across southern areas and eastern Scotland.
"On Friday night, isolated showers may continue in the far north/northwest overnight, but elsewhere dry and rather cloudy.
"Under any clearer spells it will turn frosty, with some freezing fog developing by morning."
"It will feel a lot chillier than we've had lately – temperatures are unlikely to get out of single figures for the rest of the week.
"The weather pattern will lead to widespread frosts and freezing fog, which is caused when air is very still in cold temperatures.
"Freezing fog is likely to be most extreme in valleys in southern England like the Chilterns. Luckily there won't be a problem with ice on the roads as there's not much moisture around."
Brits are braced for snow next week as a triple polar vortex brings yet another icy blast.
Murky and foggy conditions are expected to fade on Monday morning, allowing low pressure from Greenland to push in rather cold and harsh conditions for the month.
Forecasters are expecting pockets of the white stuff to blanket northern England from Wednesday January 10.
A Met Office forecaster told Sun Online: "Snowfall may strike the north of England towards the end of next week, while the south enjoys much milder temperatures.
"But temperatures will continue to drop as the week progresses, bringing heavier wintry showers particularly in the North East.
With less cloud cover next week, forecasters will expect to see very cold starts, with temperatures dropping to -11C, like this morning.
While there may be a north/south divide for a few days, it will not get any warmer as it will be the coldest January on record.
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Exacta Weather forecaster told Mirror Online: "January is looking like a colder than average month overall, and we could see some of the lowest temperatures of winter so far during the next three weeks or so.
"There is also going to be a risk of widespread snowfall through the month, this is something we are keeping our eyes on."
The polar vortex which split three ways in the Arctic circle, just after Christmas, has pushed the harshest conditions to Europe, while the other two vortex's pass over much of North America.
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