A so-called Siberian snowbomb could hit Britain and blanket much of the country with snow amid a brutal deep freeze, some forecasts claim.
There are concerns this winter could see a repeat of the deadly 2006 European cold wave which saw temperatures plummet well below zero across Britain.
An Arctic blast threatens to grip the UK next week with several spells of heavy snow to follow from the middle of the month - sparking fears of travel chaos and miserable conditions lasting weeks.
Unusually cold weather could hold out through February with lengthy spells of wintry conditions that could creep into meteorological spring.
Temperatures are expected to nosedive across Britain at the end of next week as cold air sweeps in from the north-east, according to the Express, which described the wintry conditions as a "Siberian snowbomb".
Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden said: "Currently there are signs of a significant snow event just after the middle of January with another possible towards the end of the month.
“There are likely to be further lengthy, cold and wintry spells early in the year with temperatures for the month as a whole expected to come in below average.
“Unusually cold weather could hold out through February, which threatens further harsh winter conditions including snowfall, and into the meteorological spring.”
“Will it remain dry tomorrow?”
Some forecasters say this year's winter shows similarities to that of 2005/06, which saw the European cold wave bring brutal conditions from the UK to Russia for weeks.
That season, temperatures plunged to -10C in many places in the UK.
The Met Office said there are signs that temperatures will drop towards the end of the month and into February, with an increasing risk of snow.
In the short-term, Tuesday is expected to be a dry day for many with some sunny spells, although a few showers are possible in some northern and eastern counties, and it will feel colder than recently.
Showers could be wintry across Shetland and over northern hills.
It will be a cold night with widespread frost, particularly across parts of Scotland, western England and Wales.
Heavy rain is possible in the east on Wednesday, and it will remain dry, cold and sunny in most places.
Temperatures will warm up a few degrees later in the week.
Gales of up to 75mph in Scotland caused power cuts and disruption for travellers on Monday.
Around 3,000 households had experienced power cuts in Orkney and the north-east of Scotland, in areas such as Elgin and Huntly, at one point.
A yellow warning for wind ended at 6am on Tuesday.
On Monday, the UK's warmest spot was Boulmer, Northumberland, with a temperature of 13.1C.
Met Office five-day forecast
Dry for many with sunny spells, although a few showers are possible in some northern and eastern counties.
Any showers could be wintry across Shetland and over northern hills.
Remaining windy along eastern coasts and feeling colder than recently.
Winds easing, but showers continuing in eastern counties, wintry over northern hills.
A cold night for many with a widespread frost, particularly across parts of Scotland, western England and Wales.
A few showers persisting in the east, with some heavy bursts possible.
Skies gradually clouding over in Northern Ireland and Scotland with light rain.
Largely dry, cold and sunny elsewhere.
Thursday to Sunday
Turning less cold and cloudier from Thursday with light rain and drizzle in places, although still dry for many areas.
Heavier rain and stronger winds in the north on Saturday.
What is the long-term forecast?
The Met Office has shown a bit more restraint in its long-term forecast compared to the bolder ones predicting widespread snow and cold.
This is what the Met Office is expecting from Saturday 12 January to Monday 21 January: "It will probably turn more unsettled in the north during the weekend, with heavy rain and strong winds, followed by showers, these possibly turning wintry over higher ground."
"Elsewhere, mostly cloudy with perhaps some brighter spells to the lee of high ground."
"Windier for many, with the risk of coastal gales in the north."
"There is a trend towards more changeable conditions during next week, with spells of rain followed by colder and showery conditions, possibly turning to snow on northern hills."
"The best of any drier and brighter interludes will be towards the south."
"Windy for many, with gales possible in the north."
"Temperatures overall near to above average, although some colder interludes are possible, especially in the north."
"Overnight frosts are still likely in any clearer spells elsewhere."
What about the rest of the month?
The Met Office is predicting spells of rain, snow and strong winds from Tuesday 22 January to Tuesday February 5:
"Changeable conditions are favoured at the start of this period, with spells of rain and strong winds, with some hill snow in the north at times."
"The driest and brightest conditions are likely to be in the south and southeast."
"Temperatures overall are likely to be near or falling below average."
"Any milder interludes probably becoming short lived, although the greatest chance of colder weather is likely to be in the north."
"As the rest of the month progresses and into early February there is an increased likelihood of colder weather to become established generally, which will bring an enhanced risk of frost, fog and snow."
"These notably colder conditions are by no means certain though, and in any case, some milder, wet and windy interludes are still possible."