Amber weather warnings for snow have been issued for parts of northern England and north Wales, while a mixture of yellow rain and snow warnings will be in force across the four nations.
The amber warning across the Peak District and south Pennines is in place from noon until 6pm on Thursday, with up to 25cm of snow forecast across high ground above 300 metres.
The Met Office said strong and gusty easterly winds may lead to “some drifting in places”, and that 10-15cm of snow is expected quite widely across the warning area.
A separate amber warning for snow and ice will be in place between 8am and 3pm on Thursday across north Wales and north-west Shropshire, with 20-25cm of snow forecast in areas above 200 metres.
The Met Office said that as milder air begins to arrive from the south, there is a chance that snow could turn to “freezing rain across some higher routes above 200 metres”.
An amber weather warning means travel delays on roads are likely; public transport vehicles and cars could be stranded; power cuts are possible; and some rural communities could be cut off temporarily.
In the area covered by the snow and ice warning, the Met Office said untreated pavements and cycle paths could be impassable.
Met Office meteorologist Amy Bokota said an easterly wind meant that places “inland and higher up” were likely to see the most snow.
She said it was “unlikely” that significant levels of snow would be on the ground for days, but added it could lead to difficult driving conditions on Thursday.
Ms Bokota said: “The snow could cause some pretty poor driving conditions for parts of the Pennines and Wales, particularly through the afternoon and early evening.”
The forecaster added that most places would see a return to milder conditions by the end of Thursday.
She said: “It will be quite a short-lived cold snap for much of the UK, but continuing on a little bit longer through parts of northern England and Scotland into the early hours of Friday and the start of the weekend.”
A yellow rain warning covering much of southern England and south-east Wales – including London and Cardiff – has been issued from 2am on Thursday to 6am on Friday, with 15-25mm likely and up to 45mm on higher routes.
Further yellow snow and ice warnings cover southern and central Scotland from 6pm on Thursday to 3pm on Friday, and from 10am on Thursday until 6pm on Friday in Northern Ireland.
The Met Office said up to 8cm of snow could fall in Northern Ireland and up to 10cm in parts of Scotland, with 1-3cm more widely in both regions.
Another yellow warning for snow and ice is in place in northern Scotland from 4pm on Wednesday to 10am on Thursday.
Chris Wood, from the AA, said: “If you need to travel, reduce your speed to account for the conditions and leave plenty of space behind other vehicles, and try to use main roads where possible as these are more likely to have been gritted.
“Allow extra time as it’s likely your journey will take longer than usual, and ensure you have plenty of fuel or electrical charge if driving an electric vehicle.
“The cold snap is likely to affect vehicle breakdown levels, with faults such as flat batteries and wiper faults.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub
Written by: Radio News Hub