Flurries of snow have fallen across parts of Britain as freezing wintry conditions grip much of the country, but those expecting a thick blanketing could be disappointed.
The Met Office has issued an ice warning for most of England and all of Wales and Northern Ireland that also reaches up into southern Scotland.
A further warning of snow and ice has been issued for the rest of Scotland, including Shetland and the Outer Hebrides, and another spanning England’s eastern coast.
Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said the snowfall is the first at low level for 2019 and also marks the first cold spell of the year, with the mercury across much of Britain set to stay in single figures on Thursday.
She said: “What we have had is a band of showers that have amalgamated, and that has brought a bit of heavier snow for a short period in Newcastle. And that band of showers is going to move down the coast.
“That band will move south throughout the day, bringing some heavier showers, and we are looking at accumulations of maybe 1cm-3cm – but short-lived. So it is not going to hang around for a long time.”
Ms Maxey said the band, as it gets further south and progresses down the coast, is more likely to bring hail rather than snow to parts of East Anglia.
So far, falling snow has been seen in parts of London, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and in the North East of England, where images show a white blanket on Tynemouth beach and Whitley Bay after snowfall of between 1cm-3cm (0.4in-1.2in).
Ms Maxey said 4cm (1.6in) of snow has been recorded in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, and that the weather for this time of year across the UK is “fairly typical”.
She revealed that the recent mild temperatures and warm ground, alongside rain, mean that generally “nothing is settling” in some parts.
Throughout Thursday the mercury is expected to stay in single figures, with up to 6C (42.8F) expected in London, 4C (39.2F) for northern England and 6C (42.8F) in Northern Ireland.
Overnight temperatures could dip as low as minus 11C (12.2F) in Aviemore, Scotland, which, if reached, would make it the coldest night of the winter after minus 10.5C (!3.1F) was recorded in Braemar, Scotland.
Ms Maxey said that across much of the country it will be below freezing overnight, with a widespread frost expected on Friday.
The yellow snow and ice warning for Scotland is due to remain in place until midday on Thursday, and the yellow ice warning for Northern Ireland, Wales and England – excluding the far South East and Cornwall – expires at 12pm.
A yellow snow and ice warning for coastal areas across the east of England will remain in place until 10am on Friday.