Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, said; ”The Amber National Severe Weather Warning (NSWWS) runs from 3 pm today to midnight as snow showers across the north Highlands become heavy and extend across the Grampians by this evening.

“Accumulations of 10 to 15 cms of snow are possible in places in a short space of time and strong to gale force winds could cause the snow to drift. Isolated thunderstorms are possible with lightning strikes an additional hazard. Showers will turn more to rain or sleet around coasts later with ice developing on untreated surfaces.”

A number of snow and ice NSWWS have been in place across parts of southern England, North Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland with cold air continuing to push across the UK from the north. Many areas have seen some snow, wintry conditions, and overnight frosts. More warnings are likely to be issued over the coming days.  

Level 3 Cold Weather Alert is in force, issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and covering all of England, it is currently in place until 9am on Friday 20th January. 

You can find information and advice from Traffic Scotland around travelling in severe weather on their 'Are you ready for Winter' web page. There is lots of advice on the Met Office website on cold weather. 

Dale Hipkiss, National Network Manager at National Highways, said: “Freezing conditions bring so many hazards such as ice and snow and take every possible step to understand your journey in advance and allow lots of extra time when travelling to prepare for the unexpected.

“It is therefore always important to plan ahead for your journey, listen to the weather forecasts, and if weather conditions become challenging, adjust your driving behaviour and take extra care.

“We have a section of our website dedicated to travelling during the autumn and winter period, as part of our guide to travelling in severe weather. It’s also a good idea for people to check their vehicles, such as tyres, coolant and oil levels, before heading out to reduce the risk of breakdowns.”

The cold spell will come to an end later this week and through the weekend across western areas, where it will turn milder and windier with some rain at times. However, the cold air is likely to hang on for longer across eastern and southeastern parts of the UK with sharp overnight frosts.

Keep up to date with the latest forecast on our website, by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store. Keep track of current weather warnings on the weather warning page.