Mercury set to plummet across UK

Get your warmest winter woollies out this week - temperatures are expected to drop to as low as -10C across the UK, thanks to Arctic winds.

The below-freezing winds are set to be pushed towards the country over the next seven days, due to high pressure over Scandinavia and western Russia.

It is expected that the easterly breezes will see the UK suffer its longest spell of cold weather so far this winter, according to experts.

Those who live in Wales and the far west of England could have seen a 5cm dusting of snow on Monday morning, while other regions can expect snow over the next few days.

Snow can be hard to drive in, so motorists should only make unavoidable journeys during the cold weather. This may help them to avoid making acar insurance claim.

Forecaster Paul Mott, who works for MeteoGroup - the weather division of the Press Association - said that in rural parts of central England, temperatures could plummet to -10C on Thursday night, with day time temperatures reaching a lowly 3C-4C.

Amber snow warnings have been issued for areas of Wales, with the hilly parts of south and south east Wales seeing nearly 10cm of snow, The Met Office said.

Severe cold weather warnings have also been issued by The Met Office and bouts of cold are expected across England until Thursday at least.

Copyright Press Association 2012