High pressure and light winds are set to peel back Britain's warm blanket of cloud, exposing the icy temperatures.
The cold snap will begin tonight with some areas of the west of England seeing thermometers dip below freezing before a -6C freeze in some areas on Friday.
Met Office meteorologist and spokesperson Sarah Kent told Sun Online: "It's all change going into the new year.
"The coldest area will be the west of England with -3C temperatures in some areas of Wales and further north in Carlisle experiencing the first hard frost for a while.
"By morning the widespread frost will be accompanied by freezing fog, resulting in ice on cars. Motorists should be alert and prepare for this with de-icer spray."
Moving through the week will see Scotland warmer than parts of northern and southern England, with a new blanket of cloud covering the far north.
The coldest areas set to see -6C on the mercury will be areas around the Severn Estuary and Somerset, with the Avon Valley and South Wales mainly affected.
Forecasters warn a Big Freeze from Russia will cause temperatures to plunge even further for the next three months – with the UK on track for the coldest winter on record.
Temperatures will hover close to freezing in some northern parts today – and they are only set to colder throughout the week.
A chart by MetDesk predicts that by mid-January just about everywhere will be blasted by snow.
Experts also said the deep freeze could continue for months – with below average temperatures all the way to spring.
Met Office spokesman Simon Partridge said when a similar three-month forecast was issued at the start of last year – those predictions came starkly true.
He said: "Last year there was widespread snow across many parts of the UK and temperatures were well below.
"There's a higher chance of seeing colder spells, and given that, as a result, there's a slightly higher chance of snow across the UK.
"It's far too early to say in any detail, it might be that parts of Scotland which usually get snow will get more, or you might see snow spread more widely."
Mr Deakin said New Year's Day will be pretty sunny but commuters will need to have their ice scrapers ready for Wednesday morning.
He added that Tuesday will "start pretty glum through Northern Ireland, north west England and we'll see cloud increasing across parts of South Wales.
"But for many we'll see sunny spells throughout New Year's Day. There will be a few showers in the far north east and it'll still be pretty windy on the east coast.
"It'll feel pretty cold here as well. In fact generally, temperatures will be dropping through the day, so a fresh feel to start the New Year.
"And especially as we go through the night of New Year's Day – if you're back to work on Wednesday morning, every chance you may have to scrape your car. It will be a cold start.
An update on forecasters at Meteogroup said: "A band of thick cloud and patchy light rain or drizzle will move south across England and Wales during today, with brighter skies following in the north.
"Scotland and Northern Ireland will be dry with some spells of sunshine, but cooler.
"Southern parts of England may also remain dry and bright."
It added that tonight will be "dry with plenty of clear skies for many regions across the UK tonight.
"However, North Sea coasts will often be cloudy with little chance of any clear spells.
"Rather breezy here too, but it will stay dry. It will be quite cold under the clear skies with a widespread frost, especially in northern England and Scotland."
The Met Office's forecast for the middle to the end of January paints a much colder picture, with forecasters warning of a "higher than usual" chance of ice in January.
A spokesperson said: "It is likely start unsettled across most areas at first, with heavy rain and gales at times, especially in the north, where severe gales are possible.
ODDS-ON FOR SNOW TO FALL ON NEW YEAR'S DAY
- Edingburgh: 6-4
- Glasgow: 6-4
- Birmingham: 2-1
- Nottingham: 2-1
- Liverpool: 2-1
- Manchester: 2-1
- Leeds: 2-1
- London: 3-1
- Belfast: 3-1
- Bristol: 4-1
- Plymouth: 4-1
"Hill snow is also possible, as well as snow to lower levels at times in the north.
"By the third week of January there is then an increased likelihood of a change to much colder weather generally, bringing an enhanced risk of frost, fog and snow.
"These conditions may then continue to the end of the month, but some milder, wet and windy interludes also remain possible throughout this period."
Meanwhile, with fears another “Beast from the East” is on its way, Coral make it odds on at 4-5 that this winter goes on to be the coldest on record.
Coral spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said: "We didn't get the White Christmas that many people were dreaming off but snow is on its way and we've slashed the odds on a White New Year.
“Edinburgh and Glasgow look the most likely to be bringing in the New Year with the white stuff but it's a distinct possibility across England too.
"The UK has been spoilt by some very pleasant temperatures over the festive period but once 2019 comes around we are expecting the real winter to begin.
“It's odds on that this winter will enter the record books as the coldest we've ever seen.”
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