The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for parts of the South West and Midlands with possible delays to bus and train services and flight cancellations (Pictured, Early morning thick fog surrounds Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Clifton Suspension in Bristol on Tuesday)

Motorists have been warned of difficult driving conditions this morning as a thick fog descends upon much of the country – before the ‘Beast from the East’ brings a drop in temperatures and possibly snow next month.

A yellow warning is in place for mist in Bath, Birmingham, Nottingham, parts of Manchester and the whole of Northern Ireland, where it is expected to ‘linger all day’ today, according to the Met Office. 

Meteorologist Clare Nasir urged commuters to ‘wrap up warm’, particularly in foggy areas, with Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham seeing highs of 6C, 7C and 8C respectively. 

Things will be warmer in London and the South West, hitting highs of around 10C or 11C. 

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for parts of the South West and Midlands with possible delays to bus and train services and flight cancellations (Pictured, Early morning thick fog surrounds Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Clifton Suspension in Bristol on Tuesday)

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for parts of the South West and Midlands with possible delays to bus and train services and flight cancellations (Pictured: The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol on Tuesday)

Motorists are being warned of difficult driving conditions this morning as a thick fog descends upon much of the country

A yellow warning is in place for mist in Bath, Birmingham, Nottingham, parts of Manchester and the whole of Northern Ireland, where it is expected to 'linger all day', according to the Met Office

Motorists are being warned of difficult driving conditions this morning as a thick fog descends upon much of the country

‘It’s going to be a dull day, a cold one, with temperatures lower than average for this time of year,’ Miss Nasir warned, adding that it will be colder later in the week. 

And next week will bring temperatures closer to zero, while ‘easterly winds will make it feel somewhat colder’ with a ‘light dusting’ of snow on the Scottish mountains. 

It comes as a band of high pressure that has caused temperatures to drop to as low as -45°C in Russia is expected to reach the UK in the coming days, with an easterly wind sweeping cold air westwards across Europe.

But the Met Office played down suggestions that it would be unusually cold, insisting temperatures are likely to fall to around 7C in the coming days.

Early morning thick fog surrounds the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol on Tuesday

Early morning thick fog surrounds the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol on Tuesday 

Fog rolling into the port of Dover in the early hours of Tuesday morning

Fog rolling into the port of Dover in the early hours of Tuesday morning 

Families struggling to heat their homes this winter are likely to feel the pinch of the cold, having enjoyed a comparatively warm last few weeks.

Nicola Maxey, from the Met Office, told MailOnline: ‘Temperatures are trending down, and the unsettled weather is now being replaced by something more settled.

‘After experiencing an unusually mild autumn, there’s going to be a bit of a contrast that people will notice.

‘But it will be more of a return to temperatures we are used to seeing at this time of year rather than something unusually cold.’

Some meteorologists believe snow is looking increasingly likely, while bookmakers have slashed odds on this December being the coldest on record.

Odds are down from 8/1 last week to 4/1 this week – while it’s a 6/4 shot for a white Christmas anywhere in the UK on Christmas Day.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: ‘The imminent Beast from the East has seen our odds plummet with the temperatures as we strap in for a potentially record-breaking December.’ 

Jim Dale, from British Weather Services, told the Mirror that the imminent Russian winds mark a ‘transition zone’ into a long period of cold weather, which could last until Christmas.

He said: ‘Pressure will start to rise towards the end of the month and into the start of December, holding back the Atlantic and marking the transition zone.

The Beast from the East hit Britain in 2018, causing temperatures to plunge to -11°C in some areas, along with up to 20 inches (50cm) of snow, and snow in the capital (pictured)

The Beast from the East hit Britain in 2018, causing temperatures to plunge to -11°C in some areas, along with up to 20 inches (50cm) of snow, and snow in the capital (pictured) 

‘Then high pressure comes in for the start of December, and this is when we are expecting it to start building over the UK, with the first freezing plunge going into Europe and then, if it comes off, bringing easterlies into the UK.

‘The Beast has opened its eyes, and the signals are still there for a possible easterly Beast from the East early blast of winter during the first half of December.’

The Beast from the East brought havoc in Britain in 2018, causing temperatures to plunge to -11°C in some areas, along with up to 20 inches (50cm) of snow.

Scientists recently revealed that the storm was fuelled by Arctic sea-ice loss from the Barents Sea.

The Met Office, however, makes no mention of snow in its long-range forecast for mid to late December, but warns of a cold snap, with frost and fog likely.

‘Confidence remains low for this period. Conditions are expected to be more settled than of late, with the potential for high pressure to be located close to the UK, at least at first,’ they said.

The Met Office's Nicola Maxey told MailOnline: 'Temperatures are trending down, and the unsettled weather is now being replacing by something more settled.' Pictured: Scotland in 2018 snow storm

The Met Office’s Nicola Maxey told MailOnline: ‘Temperatures are trending down, and the unsettled weather is now being replacing by something more settled.’ Pictured: Scotland in 2018 snow storm

‘With time, however, we may see a return to frontal systems moving in from the west, with drier interludes between. 

‘Whilst temperatures may average out close to normal overall, colder conditions are possible at times, with a risk of overnight frost and fog higher than normal.

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