A second Beast from the East could be heading for the UK next week, the Met Office has said.

The first Beast from the East caused havoc in February 2018, with schools closed and travel chaos.

And the Met Office has said a second frozen blast from Russia will hit the UK from the middle of next week, with the potential for heavy snow and plummeting temperatures.

Forecasters said high pressure will start to build to the north of Europe over the weekend.

The Argus: The Beast from the East storm in February 2018 caused travel chaosThe Beast from the East storm in February 2018 caused travel chaos

Next week will begin with colder, potentially snowy weather but by midweek  temperatures could drop further.

A Met Office spokesman said high pressure is expected to remain over Scandinavia throughout the week.

He said: "This setup is similar to the Beast from the East from 2018.

"We have high confidence that the high pressure system will develop, and it will turn colder than normal.

"The coldest days will tend to be around midweek as the air from Russia finally arrives in force.

"The upcoming spell of weather, whilst disruptive for some, is not expected to be as extremely cold as early March 2018, although there will still be a bitter wind chill.

"Many places in the east and north of the UK will see at least some snow, with parts of Scotland looking worst affected through Friday and Saturday."

What is the Beast from the East?

The 'Beast from the East' is a phrase used to describe cold and wintry conditions in the UK as a result of easterly winds from the near continent.

When pressure is high over Scandinavia, the UK tends to experience a polar continental air mass. 

When this happens in winter, cold air is drawn in from the Eurasian landmass, bringing the cold and wintry conditions that give rise to the 'Beast from the East' moniker.

What happened in 2018?

The 'Beast from the East' winter storm in February 2018 saw heavy snow cause travel chaos across the country. 

Biting winds from Siberia brought icy and snowy conditions across the country for a period of a couple of weeks and led to several deaths.

What is the Met Office weather forecast for the South East next week?

Monday 8 Feb - Wednesday 17 Feb

An area of high pressure looks to build to the north, and it will likely feel cold or very cold, especially in brisk easterly winds.

Snow showers are possible across the country during the early part of the period, but most widespread and heaviest for northeastern areas.

Drier weather to follow, with widespread overnight frosts, although wintry showers can still feed in from the east coast.

Any organised areas of cloud and precipitation arriving from the southwest will not progress very far into the country as a result of the high pressure.

However, they can bring the potential for widespread snow across areas where they bump into cold air. Patches of ice and other disruptive wintry hazards remain a possibility for all areas.