Bitterly cold weather on the way

After a brief mild spell this week it's back to the winter woollies and thermals this weekend.

Already we've had a freshening easterly breeze and plenty of cloud cover - making it feel much colder already. By the weekend the easterly flow really sets in, dragging icy temperatures from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Battling with the cold elements will be an area of rain pushing in from the south during Saturday. The milder air of late will help to keep road surface temperatures from getting too low during the day but as Saturday progresses the rain will turn increasingly wintry, before sinking south again later.

Locally, even at lower levels we could get 1-3 cm but above 200m 5-10 cm of snow cover is expected by the end of the day.

For all it will feel bitterly cold with struggling temperatures, a strong icy easterly wind (making highs of 2C feel more like -6) and a return to overnight frosts with the risk of ice.

Drier and slightly brighter conditions are expected to develop from the north on Sunday but the cold spell continues and wintry showers remain a risk, especially for eastern coasts, well into next week.