A RARE amber snow warning with “potential risk to life” has been issued by the Met Office as heavy snow blankets Britain today.
Parts of England will be hit with up to 15cm of white stuff amid fears that communities could become “cut off” – with travel chaos expected.
The weather alert which began at 3am this morning and lasts until 1pm will cover Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Harrogate and the surrounding areas.
Between 3cm and 8cm of snow is likely across the area, with 10cm to 15cm possible in areas above 200 metres.
Forecasters said motorists who brave the roads are at risk of becoming stranded, while rail and air cancellations are likely.
There is a good chance that some rural communities will become cut off and power cuts are likely with other services, such as mobile phone coverage also affected.
Overnight, vehicles became stuck on the eastbound M62 near Rochdale, Lancashire, between junction 21 for Milnrow and junction 22 for Denshaw leading to a temporary closure of the carriageway.
Pictures also show a lorry jack-knifed on the same motorway westbound between junction 23 and junction 22 in the early hours.
Compared to a yellow weather warning, amber means there is an increased likelihood of bad weather affecting the public, with a potential risk to life.
The alert comes after the UK was battered with torrential rain over the weekend leaving cars submerged on flooded roads across the country.
Meanwhile, yellow weather warnings are also in place for rain, snow and ice for a large part of northern England.
The huge area covers Nottingham in the midlands all the way up to Dundee in Scotland.
This warning began at 10pm on Monday and will last until the end of today.
Further yellow warnings are in place for parts of Scotland from this morning until Saturday.
Parts of Scotland could see up to 11 inches of the white stuff this week.
Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said the wintry weather will continue into this week.
He predicted a "much heavier" band of rain to arrive overnight on Monday into Tuesday which will "quickly turn to snow as it bumps up against cold air".
This has triggered further yellow weather warnings for snow and ice for today and Wednesday.
It comes after Saturday night was recorded as being the coldest night of the year so far, with January being the coldest month in a year.
Temperature maps from the weather agency showed the mercury plunging to -15C in rural areas of Northern Scotland, and as low as -6C in the North of England on Saturday night.
The lowest temperature recorded before this was -13C in Dawyck Royal Botanic Gardens in the Scottish Borders, the Met Office said
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