We could be facing more than two months of snow, ice and freezing temperatures as forecasters predict that the winter 'whiteout' could last until the end of February.
The Daily Star reports that temperatures are now even colder than expected and, as a result, government forecasters have revised their predictions: it is now likely to be "colder than average" until the end of February, rather than "slightly colder than average."
The Cabinet Office, councils and highway chiefs have been briefed that the risk of snow is worse than a year ago and a three million tonne salt stockpile has been amassed to prevent travel disruption.
The Met Office winter outlook now says: "Probabilities favour temperatures below average for December to February, with a shift towards colder-than-average values increasing the probability of well below average temperatures."
Met Office forecaster Dave Britton said: "The winter outlook shows a change in probabilities, with an increased risk of cold and milder temperatures slightly less likely. The potential for snow is higher than last year's mild winter."
According to Sky News, next week Britain is facing a weather front known as the 'Beast from the East', which will bring heavy snow and freezing temperatures.
Sky reports that forecasters are predicting heavy snow from Monday, that will hit East Anglia first, before spreading across the South East on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sky News weather presenter Jo Wheeler said: "People should prepare for the cold weather and allow more time to get to work.
"This snow could cause considerable disruption because of the accumulation in populated areas."
Click on the image below for some Christmas gift ideas for travellers...
Christmas gifts for jet-setters
Freezing temperatures could last until February
Perfect as a stocking filler for someone going backpacking through the world's biggest cities, such as New York, Paris, Madrid or Munich, Crumpled City Maps can be stuffed into a bag or pocket and spread out on any surface. Each map comes with a carry pouch and features all of the particular city's monuments, museums, galleries, parks and historical spots. It also comes with a list of 10 SoulSights - evocative places that are off the beaten path. £9.99, firebox.com
If your little ones have already caught the travel bug and they're determined to do things for themselves on holiday, the Gruffalo Chums neoprene wash bag and adorable purse are just the accessories for them. The wash bag comes with soft ears and is ideal for popping in their travel toiletries, while the purse fastens around little wrists and gives them somewhere to store their holiday money! £14.99, Trunki trunki.co.uk
BRITA Fill&Go is a 60ml bottle that filters water on the go. It can be refilled at any tap and you won't have to worry about stocking up on bottled water when you travel, saving you a fortune! It's good for the environment and keeps globetrotters hydrated while on the move. £9.99, robertdyas.co.uk
Know someone who can't be without their phone - even on holiday? Give them the gift of warm hands this winter with these Pro-tech Touch Screen Gloves. The gloves contain specially-formulated conductive threads for ease when using a touchscreen and means they can use their phones on the ski slopes without getting frost bite! The gloves are available in pink, black and cream. £12.99, o2.co.uk
Treat a jet-setter looking for recommendations for hotels, restaurants and attractions from people who actually live in the city their visiting to a Luxury Red Velvet Limited Edition LUXE Bespoke Box this Christmas. The red velvet box comes with five small, handy tongue-in-cheek guides that you choose for your recipient, creating a unique and personalised gift that will look gorgeous on their book shelf too. £35, luxecityguides.com
Who wouldn't want to find a portable hammock in their stocking? The Hang-Out Hammock is for those who like to laze around in the sun swaying back and forth with a drink in their hand! Know someone like this? All the hammock needs is something strong to attach it to so they can relax on the beach or in a park somewhere exotic. The fun gift rolls up in a ball too so it fits nicely into a handbag, rucksack, beach bag or man bag! £7.95, Prezzybox
Treat a couple you know to a stay at a romantic boutique hotel, with Mr & Mrs Smith's Get a Room! gift card. The sleek gift card can be used at over 900 hotels worldwide and means you can let your recipients do the choosing. It comes in a pop-out box and is ready-wrapped. From £50, mrandmrssmith.com
Those who travel a lot will want to keep track of the cool places they've visited and putting a Scratch Map on their wall means they can show off the exotic destinations on a map. All they'll need is a coin to scratch off the different countries they've seen. It also comes with a carrying tube so they'll never guess it's a map once you've wrapped it up. £14.95, Prezzybox
No beauty junky will be happy with standard hotel toiletries, which is why they'll love you for popping this Best of Korres Kit in their stocking. The gift set includes a range of Korres' best-sellers: Wild Rose moisturiser, Evening Primrose eye cream, Basil Lemon shower gel, Vanilla Cinnamon shower gel, Guava body butter and Yoghurt cooling gel. The eye cream and moisturiser contain SPF 6 and of course, all six products come in airport-friendly containers under 100ml. £19, oliverbonas.com
Those who love capturing every memorable moment on holiday will appreciate Leica's D-LUX 6 digital camera, which offers full creative control, optimum lens performance and great image quality. Its features include manual setting options, automatic mode and Full HD recording. The lens offers a zoom range of 24 to 90mm and it's versatile for all kinds of shots, from wide-angle architectural to landscape. £600, leica-storemayfair.co.uk
Whether your mum enjoys the comfort of home on her holidays or likes a touch of travel in her home, these limited edition Water Dragon slippers are perfect if she has itchy feet! Designed by fashion designer Vivienne Tam for Hilton, the slippers celebrate the one-year anniversary of Hilton Huanying in China and are made from luxury terry cloth with a mirrored design of two inward-facing dragons. £17.50 hiltontohome.com or from The Waldorf Hilton in London.