The Met Office issued an amber snow warning for these areas yesterday, with forecasters warning that some roads may be badly affected.
The alert was changed to a yellow weather warning for snow and ice yesterday morning, and has been extended until 10am on today.
A separate warning is in place this Saturday, with Scotland and northern England at risk of snow and ice.
Temperatures as low as -7C blasted the east of England while Scotland was set to plunge as low -12C.
Nicky Maxey, a Met Office spokeswoman, said on Thursday that unsettled conditions are set to last into next week, and she urged people to be alert for new warnings from the forecaster.
She said: “We’ve seen snow leave the M62 Yorkshire area and journeying now into the Vales or Yorkshire.
“It will push further south as we go through the day, likely to go down to the Midlands but becoming less intense.
And the freezing temperatures are likely to last, with the Met Office warning of further snow and ice on Saturday.
They say heavier snowfall is more likely above 200m in Scotland and northern England, where 5-10 cm of snow may accumulate, possibly 20 cm on highest routes.
Dismissing another Beast from the East, Met Office forecaster John Griffiths, said: “On Thursday a band of rain, sleet and snow will hit parts of Scotland and northern England, which will slowly extend south to the Midlands as the day progresses.
“It is expected to be very cold in these areas, dropping below 0C in Scotland and parts of northern England.
“This will start to gradually ease and die out during the evening, with frost and freezing fog coming in.”
Meanwhile, forecaster Matthew Box said: “The snow will continue throughout the day. It’ll peter out in places as it moves south.
“By the afternoon we’ll see sleet and snow across the Midlands, parts of Wales and even further south.”
There will be some respite today before more snow grips the northern half of the country over the weekend.
The frosty outlook has led to increasing fears of another Beast from the East terrorising the country by the end of the month.
Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) – the weather event which led to 2018’s devastating Beast – took place in the atmosphere last week.
It could be two weeks before the impact of the SSW is felt at ground level but forecasters at the Met Office say it has “increased the chances”.
SSW effectively reverses Britain’s wind pattern.
Instead of drawing wind in from the warm west, it switches to haul bitterly cold gusts from Siberia in the east.
Although the weather event has taken place its impact will not be known for at least a week, according to the Met Office.
In 2018 the Beast sparked the worst snowstorms for decades, with 20in falling.
Hundreds of schools shut, the military mobilised to help the NHS and there were fears the nation could run out of gas.
Paul Davies, the Met Office’s Chief Meteorologist, said: “We can’t completely rule out a signal for colder weather following this SSW event later in the month.”
Meteorologists have confirmed a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event is happening over the Arctic, which is what happened before the Beast from the East three years ago.
When this happens the warming can affect the jet stream which regulates much of the weather in the UK.
If heavily disrupted, or even reversed, Brits could be hit with the same chilly conditions currently north of Scandinavia.
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The Met Office’s long-range forecast predicts “significant snowfall on the boundary between milder and colder air masses” as we go into February.
The last Siberian weather front to be given the nickname hit in 2018 when snow blanketed large parts of Britain and temperatures plummeted to -10C.
Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: “The stratosphere above the North Pole has warmed, it started its process on the 4th of January and has been rapidly warming over the last few days.”
Scotland weather forecast for Friday 15 January – Feeling cold with warnings for snow and ice
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