Britain faces blizzard conditions with more snow, downpours and 60mph gales set to sweep in even before Storm Dennis brings 72 hours of disruption beginning this weekend.
More than three inches of snow is expected to fall on Scotland and northern England from Thursday, leaving vehicles stranded in treacherous weather in the worst-hit areas.
Heavy rain is set to continue also across much of the UK, with a yellow weather alert warning of the potential flooding of homes and roads as the country continues its recovery from Storm Ciara.
But the worst is yet to come with the “exceptionally deep” low pressure system of Storm Dennis bringing a three-day period of intensely wet and windy weather to the UK from Saturday.
The Thursday morning commute could be tricky in places, with a mix of #rain, #sleet, #snow and #ice for some northern parts of the UK 🌧️🌨️❄️ and #gusty winds and blustery showers further south 🌦️ pic.twitter.com/epO2hIIAfx— Met Office (@metoffice)February 12, 2020
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said that while Dennis will not be as strong as Ciara, the new storm will be “long lasting” and still cause disruption up and down the country.
He said: “It’s going to be very windy for the whole weekend and even into Monday. Dennis is going to be a long-lasting storm, with not just the wind but also the rain too we are likely to see widespread disruption.”
“It’s more common for low pressure systems to move through very quickly but the UK will feel the effects of Dennis throughout the weekend. The reason for this is that the low pressure centre is exceptionally deep.”
The snow warning comes after mountain rescuers scrambled to save 12 people who got stranded in their cars in Dumfries and Galloway on Tuesday night.
Moffat Mountain Rescue Team sent two off-road vehicles to the A702 Dalveen Pass, north of Durisdeer village, battling through treacherous conditions to reach the victims.
The 12 were pulled from their cars and ferried to safety in the team’s Land Rover in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team (TVMRT) also reported helping Police Scotland recover a vehicle which had slipped off a road at a “remote location” in the Scottish Borders on Tuesday evening.
The emergency volunteers struggled through “extreme blizzards” on a 2.4-mile (4km) hike during the operation.
A host of yellow weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office from Thursday until Monday.
Northern Ireland is covered by a warning of rain from midnight until 8am on Thursday morning, with forecasters saying this could bring transport disruption and flooding to some homes and businesses.
Another warning of snow has been issued for the north west of England from 2am to 11am on Thursday, which the Met Office said could again affect travel and cut off rural communities.
There is also a risk of blizzards over the high grounds of southern Scotland on Thursday morning which will push eastwards and clear away into the afternoon, the Met Office said.
Elsewhere, it will be windy with heavy showers across many parts of England and Wales, with some hail and thunder mixed in.
On Friday, a yellow alert is warning of rain and snow melt across southern Scotland from 9am to 5pm, that could affect roads and train and bus services.
Frost will have developed overnight, most severely in the north, with fog patches also arriving.
Wet and windy conditions in the north west will later on push south-eastwards across the whole country on Friday.
On Saturday, three warnings of wind and rain cover all of England, Wales and southern Scotland for most of the day.
Saturday is expected to be "the most hazardous day", Mr Burkill said.
But he added: "Whilst it's going to be very windy, they do look like they will be a touch down to what we saw with Storm Ciara.”
Wind speeds reached 97mph under Storm Ciara and Mr Burkill said gusts from Storm Dennis will hit 60 to 70mph in exposed spots.
Strong winds and heavy rain will still be present on Sunday, with the whole of the UK covered by yellow weather alerts.
Mr Burkill said: "The unsettled weather won't subside massively any time soon".
The weekend's weather runs the risk of bringing further flooding to parts of the country, with the Environment Agency urging people "to stay safe and remain vigilant".
It has also warned people against taking "dangerous" so-called storm selfies.
Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK