An Arctic weather front dubbed the Beast from the East 3 is set to sweep Scotland in the run up to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
Forecasters have predicted the mercury is set to plummet well into the minuses – as much as -10C in some parts of the UK – as early as this Monday, bringing heavy snow and icy conditions.
Edinburgh and the Lothians will experience the beginning of the Arctic conditions on Tuesday when temperatures are expected to dip to below freezing. Snow are showers are also forecast for Wednesday.
Sleet and wind is forecast for much of the west of the Scotland, with frequest heavy snow showers expected towards the start of the Easter weekend.
The weather is being blamed on another Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) pattern in the Arctic.
That pattern caused the Beast from the East in February and March, which led to widespread disruption and brought the country to a halt.
The Met Office said increasingly unsettled conditions were expected to develop later on Monday and into Tuesday as a frontal system arrives from the west bringing a spell of heavy rain and the potential for strong winds to many parts.
Chief Operational Meteorologist Laura Paterson said: “The evolution of this system during the middle of next week is uncertain, but it does appear increasingly likely to herald the start of another colder spell for many parts of the UK.
“Despite uncertainty regarding the timing and onset of this change, the signal that colder conditions will develop and last into the Easter weekend has remained consistent.”
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather said: “The Easter weekend is looking cold and wintry with some complex weather patterns showing signs of developing within this period.
“Further snow on a widespread scale is looking increasingly likely from Easter weekend and into much of the following week.
“This could surpass the recent snow events and bring some of the heaviest snowfall we have ever seen at this time of the year or at Easter.”