Prepare for what could be winter's first major snowfall

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If you're in Britain now would be a good time to brace yourselves, because it looks like the first significant snowfall of winter is headed your way.

Up to 20cm (7.8in) of the white stuff is forecast to fall on higher ground in northern England, potentially leaving difficult driving conditions in its wake. The first flakes will hit Scotland on Tuesday afternoon, before moving south to the Pennines.

Preparing for snow
Time to get your snow shovels out (Jane Barlow/PA)

Temperatures will be around minus 1C to freezing overnight, up from a low of minus 6.6C overnight on Monday, but intense rainfall is likely to turn to snow when it meets the cold air, meteorologist Emma Sharples said.

She said: "The snow overnight is likely to be still on the ground come rush hour in the morning so people need to be aware of that and perhaps allow for some disruption to their travel plans."

She added: "We could well have some slushy deposits around and it may take until the afternoon until we can clear that."

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Highways England has issued an amber "be aware" alert for the North and Midlands in anticipation of the heavy rain turning to sleet and snow overnight.

They warned drivers to check the forecast before setting out and ensure they have a winter kit in their vehicles.

The AA said it had experienced its busiest day of the year so far with more than 10,000 calls. Many drivers had flat batteries and other cold weather-related problems.