The Met Office has responded to reports that the UK could be hit with 10cm of heavy snow as -4C temperatures freeze the nation.

New weather maps by WX Charts, which uses the Met Desk data, suggest the mercury could dip as low as -4C in the coming week and days.

James Madden, from Exacta Weather, is predicting “widespread and heavy snow showers across large parts of the country” from the middle of the month.

He added: “This will see most and if not all parts of the country getting dragged into an extended snowy regime over at least a several-day period, and literally anywhere will be at a much significantly higher risk of seeing some heavy and settling snow within this particular period (from parts of the far north to the far south of the country, and especially down the eastern flank of the country from Scotland to southern England too).”

The Met Office has released its medium-to-long-range forecast for the month.

From January 12 to January 21, the Met Office says: "Mostly cloudy across the UK on Friday and Saturday.

"Some patchy light rain or drizzle is expected in places, although many areas will probably remain mainly dry. Winds will be light with temperatures likely to be a little below average.

“Colder weather is more likely to dominate”

"Through the rest of the weekend and into the start of the following week, it is likely to turn colder as northerly winds begin to develop across of the UK and bring a risk of snow showers, particularly across the north."

Forecasters at the agency went on: "There is also a smaller risk of a period of snow across some southern areas for a time. Through the rest of this period, confidence is low, but there is an increased chance of more unsettled conditions spreading from the west."

It adds that from January 20 “colder weather is more likely to dominate” and has the potential to bring “more widespread snow to parts of the UK”.