North East Gets Snow Covering

14 January 2013, 14:55 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

As predicted, the North East's seen the first snowfall of 2013, with a light covering falling during the late morning

The Met Office has upgraded its "cold weather action'' warning to level three - one underneath a national emergency - for all of England, urging social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups.

It said:
"This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.''

There's also an amber warning in place for the North East which is valid until midnight tonight (Monday 14th January)

An amber warning means:
Be prepared for some disruption to road, rail and air transport with difficult driving conditions likely and longer journey times.

It's thought Yorkshire will be worst affected by the snow.

Pictured: A digger collects grit to send out at Newcastle City Council's grit depot in Byker

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."

Temperatures are expected to rise to up to 8C (46F) in the west of England and Wales but struggle to rise above zero in the rest of the country.

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.  

At Newcastle City Council, Nigel Todd who's responsible for environment and transport, told Capital they have 12,000 tonnes of salt to last through the winter.

There are 12 gritting vehicles owned by the council, and they go out at different times of the day, depending on the weather conditions.

They cover around 36% of Newcastle's road network.