Heavy snow is set to hit much of Britain on Saturday – with temperatures dropping as low as -6C and some areas potentially cut off.
And the snow could even fall in parts of London, with areas of the country expecting four inches of the white stuff.
The inclement weather will keep some indoors over the weekend as the country’s third Covid lockdown continues.
But it might also entice some people outside and authorities will be keen to avoid a repeat of a mass snowball fight in a park in Leeds involving up to 200 people.
Forecasters are warning of the potential for “significant disruption”.
The amber weather alert, in place from 5am, says travel delays on roads are likely, stranding some vehicles and passengers.
There are likely to be delays and cancellations to the limited rail and air travel taking place.
There is a good chance that some areas could become cut off with power cuts likely and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.
Large parts of the UK, including Scotland, northern England, the East Midlands and the South East, are also covered by yellow warnings.
Temperatures overnight on Friday are expected to get as low as minus 6C in Yorkshire and minus 3C in East Anglia, but will hover around freezing during the day in areas where snow settled, the Met Office said.
Places such as Newcastle and Norwich may drop to minus 1C overnight, with fog patches in some places.
Luke Miall, meteorologist at the Met Office, said patches of snow could even reach down into parts of Greater London.
“The east of England is the area where we can see the highest impact from the snowfall,” he said.
“In terms of the amount of snowfall, we’re likely to see in the region of one to three centimetres quite widely within that area but potentially as much as five to 10 centimetres in some places.
“That’s a fairly decent amount of snow and enough to cause some fairly significant disruption.”
The Met Office amber warning, which covers large areas of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, will be in place until 2pm on Saturday.
It states that “a band of rain and heavy snow may lead to travel disruption”.
Mr Miall said the heavy snowfall would begin to ease later on Saturday, creating the risk of slippery conditions and icy roads and pavements, and urged people to check weather updates.
“It’s hard to get the exact messaging correct because the advice from the Government is to stay at home to protect ourselves from the virus but obviously people are still able to go out for essentials,” he said.
“A snow event could cause significant disruption to even those essential trips that people need to make, so we are advising the public to stay up to date with the latest information on the warnings as the weather develops.”
But temperatures are expected to rise on Saturday afternoon to around 2C in the east.
South-west England will be the mildest region, which could see highs of 10C or 11C.
Mr Miall added that despite the “impactful” weather at the weekend, conditions will become wetter going into Monday and Tuesday before another cold spell later in the week.
The snow warnings follow bad weather on Friday which caused disruption to further rollout of Covid vaccinations, with Leeds University delaying the opening of its asymptomatic Covid-19 test centre.
Over-80s who were due to receive their Covid-19 vaccine at Newcastle’s Centre for Life were told they could rebook rather than risk making a trip in the icy conditions.
Northumbria Police said 17 vehicles were involved in a succession of crashes on a stretch of the Coast Road in North Tyneside.
Emergency services were called to four separate incidents within a matter of hours on Friday morning.
Freezing fog patches and plummeting temperatures also led to a loss of gas supply to approximately 700 homes in the Hebden Bridge area.
In Bottesford, Leics, cars made their way through a flooded road and the River Roding in Essex burst its banks.
A large swathe of England was covered by 27 flood warnings on Friday afternoon.
A band of rain, preceded by some snow, will clear quickly eastwards this morning, leaving a covering of snow across East Anglia. Brighter weather following, with showers affecting northwestern parts. Windy for many, with temperatures closer to average than recently.
Breezy with showers across northwestern and central areas. Mostly dry in the south and east with clear spells and a patchy frost.
Southern and eastern parts dry with sunny spells. Showers affecting the northwest, with a spell of more persistent rain later.
Outlook for Monday to Wednesday
Unsettled, rather mild and windy with rain at times, heavy in the west. Colder for Scotland with some hill snow. Gales in the south, and later in the north.
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