Up to 10cm of snow is expected to fall in some places, raising fears of widespread transport disruption on roads, rail and at airports.
Forecasters have issued severe weather warnings across the UK, and a band of snow is expected to run eastern Scotland, down through eastern and central England and into London during rush-hour.
The Met Office has raised the alert level to three, which is just one step below a national emergency.
Forecasters say the icy conditions could last until Friday morning.
Britain is likely to be experiencing colder temperatures than Lapland by Wednesday morning.
This morning much of the country awoke to a light dusting of snow, but there was little disruption.
The heaviest snowfall overnight was in Nottingham, across the Pennines and in Scotalnd.
Some schools in Leicestershire and Rutland, were closed this morning.
Commuters have been warned to expect disruption during this evening with heavy snow expected to make travel conditions difficult across a swathe of the UK.
The Met Office says its ‘cold weather action’ warning is at level three and indicates that: ‘This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.’
A number of yellow and amber warnings are also in place across the country to highlight the hazardous conditions and likelihood of disruption to travel services caused by the ice, snow and freezing temperatures.
The heaviest snow of up to 4in (10cm) will fall in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and east Anglia, while central England will widely see up to 2in (5cm) with temperatures hovering around 1C (33.8F).
Matt Dobson, senior forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “We have two bands of snow to worry about today. The first is over south east England and East Anglia this morning but it is coming down quite slowly and it’s light.
“There is another band of rain, sleet and snow, moving out of eastern Scotland across north west England and Wales and moving south east all the time.
“If you draw a line from Manchester to London, south and west of the line there will be mainly rain and sleet. North and east of that line it will fall mainly as sleet and snow.
“Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and East Anglia, they are going to get the worst.”
The band of snow is expected to stall overnight, bringing a risk of further falls in Norfolk and Suffolk, but the rest of the country should see a dry Tuesday, Mr Dobson added.
The AA has warned that 75% of drivers are not prepared for conditions on the roads, and urged drivers to carry an essential winter kit and check their cars before getting behind the wheel.
The RAC is expecting up to 56,000 breakdowns and widespread disruption. It has placed extra patrols on stand-by to help stranded motorists and said call-outs are expected to rise by 20% or more.
The bad weather also hit some rail services, although not all the problems encountered by commuters today were weather-related.
Poor conditions led to delays to First Capital Connect services between London and Cambridge.
Over-running engineering work also led to hold-ups to Greater Anglia services between Ilford and Shenfield in Essex, while a signalling problem at Stourbridge Junction in the West Midlands led to delays to services between Kidderminster and the aptly-named Birmingham Snow Hill.
Also in the West Midlands, a broken-down freight train near Bloxwith led to delays to London Midland services between Rugeley Trent Valley and Birmingham New Street.
Further north, a signalling problem at Eccles led to delays to trains between Manchester Piccadilly/Manchester Victoria and Newton-le-Willows.
Britain wakes up to dusting of snow and there’s more on the way… – The Independent
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