FORECASTERS have warned of blizzard conditions when weather fronts from Scandinavia and the Mediterranean collide over Britain this week.
The Met Office said Scots should brace themselves for up to four inches of snow falling over Tuesday and Wednesday, with as much as eight inches possible on higher ground.
Yellow weather warnings have been issued for Tayside, Fife, Lothians, Borders, Strathclyde and the Highlands.
Temperatures are set to plummet as low as -6ºC, with a high of 1ºC on Tuesday and top temperatures just reaching freezing on Wednesday.
Conditions are predicted to mimic those seen in March 2013, when roads were brought to a standstill and some parts of the country faced power cuts. Lightning has also been forecast for some coastal areas towards the end of the week.
The underlying cause, according to the national weather body, is hot and cold systems from Scandinavia and the Mediterranean meeting over the North Sea, combining with cold air before falling as snow over the UK.
Filotas Paschos, a Met Office forecaster based in Aberdeen, said: “Showers will be snowy and wintry down to very low ground levels, and will be more frequent across eastern parts of the country.
“At this time of year the cold air from the continent is passing across the north sea, which is relatively warm, creating showers that hit the UK.
“It is cold, so these showers are falling as snow.
“This happened in 2013, when there was quite a cold March with loads of wintry showers coming across the North Sea. It is a similar situation.”
The east coast is expected to be the worst hit by the storm when it arrives on Tuesday.
However, most of Scotland and some parts of Northern Ireland will be affected.
Drivers have been warned to expect “poor visibility” and “blizzard conditions” on Wednesday, with snow predicted to fall across most of Scotland.