BRITAIN is set to be blasted by a 1,000-mile wide “Beast from the East” this Easter as snow and subzero temperatures will freeze the nation.
Breathtaking lows of -5C are forecast across the UK later this week as a polar plume brings a chill from Scandinavia and Russia.
The Met Office forecast highs feeling like 5-9C for most from Tuesday in easterly windchill, and 3-8C by Thursday.
Government weathermen warned of -5C nights, with snow set to hit even low levels in the north on Thursday and Friday.
The south also risks snow flurries, The Weather Outlook said.
The RAC warned of weather delays as millions make Easter holidays trips.
April downpours and gales hit into next week as the chill eases.
But the Met Office said the Easter weekend is set for a warm-up, with highs over 20C on the cards into late April, with warm weather continuing into May.
Up to 24C around Easter and 26C from late April were forecast by The Weather Outlook.
The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “A ‘Beast from the North-East’ from Scandinavia means it could be a white Easter holidays for some.
“Sleet or snow even in the South can’t be ruled out.
“But warm air is expected later in the month, with a spread of computer model outcomes as some suggest up to 24C from around Easter and 26C in late April into early May.”
Met Office forecaster Sophie Yeomans said: “Cold air will come straight from the Arctic, passing Sweden and Norway, bringing cold easterly winds affecting temperatures.
“Monday to Wednesday daytimes see 8C on the east coast, but feeling cold in winds, with the west seeing 16C but also night frosts and -3C lows on Monday night.
“Temperatures come down for all by Thursday and Friday, with highs struggling to 9-10C, some snow possible in the north and -5C possible at night with widespread frost risks if clouds clear at night.
“Rain and strong winds follow from the weekend.
“But warmer weather is possible by Easter, with a good chance of high pressure building, and late April has over 20C possible if there is clear skies.”
Ex-BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond of weathertrending said: “Is this the spring edition of the ‘Beast from the East?’
“Easterlies are set to sweep all before them, with raw winds originating in Arctic Russia for Easter holidays with snowfall possible.
“But a mid-month change sees warmer conditions through Easter, with April 22-May 5 seeing proper spring weather.”