Two separate weather warnings have been issued as Storm Caroline bears down on Ireland.
Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said: 'Wednesday will see the last of the mild days, with temperatures in double figures, between 10 and 12 degrees (50F-54F).
Yellow "be aware" alerts have been put on place from 8am on Thursday until 6pm on Saturday with severe weather expected to cause widespread transport disruption.
Storm Caroline, the third Atlantic storm this season, is due to affect Ireland between about 3am and 8pm on Thursday, generating winds of 55-65km/h, with gusts of up to 110 km/h in coastal areas and on high ground, as it passes on its way towards northern Scotland.
Snow and falling temperatures are also forecast for parts of Britain later in the week.
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Roads, railways and ferries are all expected to be disrupted as gusts of 70mph to 80mph are hit northern Scotland, increasing to 90mph in exposed areas.
The status yellow warning is in effect from 4pm Thursday, and remains in place until the same time on Friday. As the storm moved away from the United Kingdom and towards Scandinavia on Friday it would be followed by cold air. Some short term loss of power and other services is possible.
Met Éireann said Thursday will be bitterly cold overall, with gusty north to northwest breezes bringing showers over parts of Ulster, Connacht and west Munster by the afternoon.
Government forecasters expect this month to be hit by easterly winds, which frequently come from as far away as Russian Federation and Siberia to bring Britain's coldest winter weather.
Gritters and patrols will be deployed across Scotland's trunk road network with up to 8in (20cm) of snow and blizzard conditions forecast for higher routes on Friday and Saturday.