Heavy snow and ice has caused traffic chaos for some drivers across the country after the Met Office issued danger to life warnings.
Yellow and amber warnings have been issued for parts of Scotland and northern England as temperatures plunged to freezing.
Up to a foot (30cm) of snow was expected to fall overnight Wednesday into Thursday in Scotland, while parts of northern England were braced for around seven inches (20cm).
The Met Office has issued an amber snow warning for Central, Tayside & Fife, the Highlands, the Grampians, the Lothian Borders and North East England.
Hundreds of schools have also closed due to perilous driving conditions.
More than 100 schools are shut in Bradford and Keighley, reports Yorkshire Live.
Forecasters warned that some roads may be affected by deep snow, leaving vehicles stranded, while there is a “good chance” that some rural communities could become cut off.
Across Newcastle, Durham and Northumberland, residents woke to a blanket of snow causing rush hour chaos as motorists hit the road.
The A68 Northbound is closed and there’s stationary traffic due to broken down lorries and snow at A68 / B6318
There’s also slow traffic due to snow on the A691 from A167 at Sniperley roundabout, Durham, to A692 (Leadgate roundabout, Leadgate).
Overnight temperatures in Leeds also plummeted to a frosty 1C and are set to drop further from 9am with snow expected to fall until 7pm this evening.
In Scotland, transport chiefs closed the A9 at Dunblane northbound after Kier Roundabout around 6.40am as they battled to clear the white stuff from the route.
A crash involving a lorry took place later on the road closing southbound lanes one and two.
As of 7.70am the northbound route has been reopened but the sounthbound lanes remain closed.
Traffic Scotland tweeted: “#A9 northbound now OPEN after the Kier Roundabout White heavy check mark.
“Southbound lane 1 of 2 remains closed.”
Another crash closed part of the M90 at around 6.50am.
John Griffiths, a Met Office forecaster, 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 (32F) 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.”
Mr Griffiths said Friday will “start cold and foggy”, with most areas becoming dry and bright over the rest of the day.
He said a yellow weather warning is also in place on Saturday, which could see heavy snow across parts of Scotland to central parts of England.
Hospital bosses have advised older people not to visit Newcastle’s Centre for Life mass vaccination hub due to the conditions, urging them to rebook their appointment.
The Newcastle NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust tweeted: “It’s easy to do by calling 119. No need to risk travelling in the bad weather.”
A further yellow warning for snow and ice remains in place until 9pm on Thursday, stretching from the northern Highlands to South Yorkshire.
The rest of England is likely to see heavy rain, particularly in London and the South East, while Wales and Northern Ireland are predicted to stay mostly dry.
In England, the affected areas are expected to be:
- East Midlands
- North East England
- North West England
- Greater Manchester
- West Midlands
- Yorkshire & The Humber
- North Yorkshire
- South Yorkshire
- West Yorkshire
UK 5 day weather outlook
Many northern, eastern and central areas, cold with a mix of rain, sleet and snow, heavy in places, causing some disruption to travel, especially across higher ground. Rain more likely near coasts, while southwestern areas milder until evening, and windy.
Rain and snow easing, though slower to clear the far northeast of Scotland. Otherwise a mix of low cloud, freezing fog and some clear spells. Frost and ice potential hazards.
A largely dry but chilly day for most, areas of low cloud and fog slow to clear, especially in some eastern parts. Slightly milder and breezier later in far west.
Outlook for Saturday to Monday:
Rain and strong winds spreading east on Saturday, with risk of snow in the north and east, clearing to sunny/clear spells and coastal showers. Turning unsettled later Monday. Mainly cold.
-- to www.mirror.co.uk