By Rachel Russell
Parts of the UK are experiencing severe conditions this weekend, as snow and ice hits Scotland and the south-east and west of England.
Severe conditions are causing travel disruption, with a small chance rural communities could be cut off.
Manchester Airport briefly closed due to “heavy snow fall” on its runways.
Temperatures are forecast to hit -10C in some areas and a yellow warning is in place for snow and ice for Scotland, Wales, and south-west England.
On Sunday the warning for snow spreads to include London and the South East.
The Met Office said it expected a widespread frost on Saturday night and freezing fog patches to become more extensive into Sunday morning.
It warned that power cuts and mobile phone coverage might be affected and that the weather conditions could lead to more travel disruption, especially on Monday.
But it has ended its weather warning for Northern Ireland, despite the cold weather leading to some sporting fixtures being cancelled.
Snow has been settling in Devon and Wales as well as parts of Scotland and areas of north-west England.
Manchester Airport closed both runways on Saturday morning due to “heavy snow fall”, with dozens of flights affected.
The airport advised passengers to contact their airline for the latest on their flights.
Drivers in north-western England are also being advised to take care following accidents on motorways including the M58, M62, M61.
The A39 near Baxworthy, Devon, has also been blocked due to “extreme snow and ice”, the Devon County Council Highways and Emergency Planning alerts Twitter page said.
Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: “It is staying cold with daytime temperatures remaining only a few degrees above freezing in many places over the coming days and overnight temperatures dropping to -10C or lower in isolated spots.
“Although below average, these temperatures are not that unusual for this time of year.
“There is still a risk we could see some freezing fog in places particularly southern England, especially for Sunday and Monday mornings.”
Ice for much of the western side of England, parts of Northern Ireland, south-west Scotland and Wales until 12:00 on Sunday
Snow and ice across northern, central and eastern Scotland from 15:00 on Saturday until 12:00 on Sunday
Snow and ice in London, the South East, and East of England from 09:00 on Sunday until 09:00 on Monday
Meteorologist Stav Danaos said in his latest BBC Weather forecast that the cold spell is “here to stay for the foreseeable future”.
He said: “Through Saturday night it stays icy in northern and western areas where we’ve had the showers. Snow drifts southwards into southern Scotland and even north-eastern England too.”
He added: “Into Sunday we need to keep an eye on this weak area of low pressure developing towards the south east quadrant of England – that could develop into thicker cloud and perhaps some sleet and snow particularly later in the day, which could affect parts of the south-east and east Anglia.”
People are being advised to check on vulnerable family and friends to ensure they have access to warm food and drinks as the wintry conditions hit.
The UKHSA added that people should make sure indoor temperatures in their homes are at least 18C (64.4F).
Dr Agostinho Sousa, consultant in public health medicine at UKHSA, said: “Cold weather can have serious consequences for health and older people and those with heart or lung conditions can be particularly at risk.
“If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should heat your home to a temperature that is comfortable for you.
“In rooms you mostly use such as the living room or bedroom, try to heat them to at least 18C if you can. Keep your bedroom windows closed at night. Wearing several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer.”
Gritters will be out this weekend to help clear the roads and ease travel disruption.
Darren Clark, severe weather resilience manager at National Highways, said: “National Highways is committed to treating every road which needs to be treated – whenever it is needed.”
The RAC has added it has been “exceptionally busy” in recent days due to receiving a quarter more breakdowns than is normal for this time of year.