Although February is traditionally the coldest month of the year, the cold snap that has gripped the country over the past few days is down with temperatures plummeting almost five degrees lower than the monthly average – and it’s set to get worse.

Forecasters say Saturday will see a cold front sweep south and east across the UK, resulting in snow.

Around four inches of snow and ice are predicted for some parts of the country, with even London expected to see snow fall before the weekend is out.

The mercury – which hovered between 1C-4C on Wednesday – is forecast to drop considerably today with some areas remaining below freezing in the daytime and temperatures as low as -10C possible tonight, with BBC Radio 5 saying temperatures could fall as low at -11C.

Met Office forecaster Alison Richards told the Telegraph: “Snow flurries will move south from Norfolk through Thursday, reaching as far as Kent. People in London shouldn’t be surprised to see snow”

“Thursday night will fall to -10C in exposed rural areas, with Friday bringing another very cold day with snow showers possible on south-east coasts. 

Richards also warned that nowhere is safe from the risk of the extreme weather conditions.

She said “During the weekend, a band of snow and rain will start in the north-west and move south-east, affecting most parts.

“Anywhere could see snow and people are advised to keep up to date with forecasts.”

The army have been put on standby should conditions deteriorate to a Met Office level 4, which means a ‘major cold weather incident’, although the big freeze should start to wane by Monday, when milder temperatures are expected.