Winds of 101mph have battered parts of the UK as the latest wave of winter weather caused misery for commuters.
The Met Office reported winds of 101mph in Great Dunsell, Cumbria - the highest across the UK on Wednesday - while other exposed areas also recorded speeds well in excess of 70mph.
Snow and ice caused trouble on roads and railways, while the high winds have also triggered disruption on Thursday morning, with trees and flooding blocking train tracks.
But forecaster are warning there's worse to come, with 'Storm Rachel' bringing more gale-force winds, snow and temperatures of -15C.
Leon Brown, meterologist at The Weather Channel, told Aol Travel that temperatures are set to drop further, possibly reaching -15C, the coldest of winter so far: "From Friday, the winds ease and veer to the north or north west, and everywhere will get a lot colder again. There'll be hail, sleet and snow showers around coasts and some sleet and snow showers moving inland.
"We should prepare for freezing temperatures and very icy conditions for the coming days, and probably much of next week too.
"There is a risk of some more widespread snow early next week as an occluding Atlantic front slides down the western side of the UK, but could push further east to bring a spell of snow later on Monday and Tuesday.
"We can also expect some very low temperatures, the lowest of the winter so far. Temperatures below -10C are quite likely in Scotland, perhaps as low as -15C. Over mid Wales too temperatures may dip to below minus 10C where there is lying snow early next week."
He added: "It's wild out there across northern Britain just now. There have been gusts over 115mph recently across the Cairngorms and Ben Nevis, but over 100mph widely across the highlands in Scotland.
"Even at lower levels there are 60 to 70mph gusts across Northern Ireland, North West England and in Scotland. Highest gust in England has been over Great Dunn Fell at 101mph, and in Wales 96mph at Capel Curig.
"The high winds will ease over Scotland on Thursday afternoon but will spread across Northern Ireland, North England and North Wales with more damaging gusts. Some heavy rain will turn to snow, too, moving down over South Scotland to North West England. There are blizzard conditions over the Pennines.
"Winds will gradually ease tonight and veer to the north west dragging in a colder Arctic flow, and this sets the theme for the next week or more across the UK - turning a lot colder and wintry with sleet and snow, plus very icy and widespread frosts.
The warnings come as unsettled weather has already caused chaos this week, with gale-force winds, heavy rain, giant hailstones, and even mini tornados hitting parts of the UK.
Over in Wales, a group of schoolchildren had a lucky escape after their bus skidded on an icy hill and came to rest on a pavement.
Speaking to Wales Online, Gary Williams, chairman of governors at recently-closed Aberllechau Primary School in Wattstown, said: "The bus was coming round the corner and lost grip on the ice, and it just brushed the wall as it came to a stop.
"All the children had seatbelts on. It could have been a lot worse than that."