14'C BELOW ZERO; Blizzards Are on the Way Next Week as the Winter Blows in Via Greenland the Snow Will Spread South from Sunday, Warn the Weathermen

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FREEZING temperatures, heavy snowfalls and strong winds are expected to hit Britain with a jolt next week, bringing chaos to roads, railways and airports.

Air temperatures could fall as low as minus 8c (18f), but experts are warning that with the wind chill factor taken into account it will actually feel like minus 14c (8f).

The arctic blast is on its way from Canada - where temperatures have plunged in some areas to minus 40c (minus 40f).

Many North American cities were turned into virtual ghost towns last week after warnings that even the slightest exposure to the frigid air could trigger frostbite.

Heavy snowfall is expected in Scotland and the North from Sunday night. The cold weather will then gradually spread across the country.

London is expected to see snowy showers by Wednesday.

It was not clear last night how long the cold snap would last.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: 'We are forecasting a very, very cold period coming up with subzero temperatures, heavy snow in Scotland and the North-East and snowy showers in London and the South.

'The temperature in Scotland and parts of the North is likely to go down to minus 8c (18f) overnight.

'But taking into consideration the windchill factor, which measures what people perceive the temperature to be, it is likely to reach minus 14c.

'We have had such a mild winter that it will come as a real shock for many people, especially in the South where we are not so used to it being that cold. …