Britons are warned to take care amid the severe weather conditions as snow, sleet and ice have led to a man losing his life on British roads.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for the whole of the UK, less severe than the amber “be prepared” recommendation seen earlier this week.
However with schools’ breaking up and many making travel plans, the increased volume of traffic puts Britons at risk over the coming days.
The AA is warning travellers to prepare for any weather eventuality, estimating that 18 million cars will be on the roads this weekend. Keith Miller, AA patrolman of the year, told the Mail:
“Although the current weather forecast for Christmas isn't as bad as last year, the outlook is still quite unsettled which means road conditions can be unpredictable.
“The Christmas period is always busy, so allow extra time for your journey and keep a close eye on weather and traffic reports before departing.”
Many Britons woke up to snow and heavy rainfall this morning, and as #uksnow began trending on twitter some lamented the lack of the white stuff, while others relished the chance to get involved in festive fun:
Glasgow got 6cm of snowfall while High Wycombe saw 2cm of snow, and 4cm fell over parts of Northern Ireland.
However most of Britain saw rain and bitter temperatures rather than snow, and it was sleet that caused the fatal crash on the Formby bypass in Merseyside earlier today.
The freezing rain and sub-zero temperatures cause a risk of ice on the asphalt and drivers are advised to pack warm coats, food and water, boots, de-icer, a torch, and a shovel in case they do get caught in the snow.
More snow is likely to be confined to high ground in Scotland: most of the snow so far has failed to settle. However as conditions are unsettled it is difficult to predict what to expect over Christmas. The latest odds suggest bookmakers are betting on a white one.
Andy Page, chief forecaster at the Met Office, warned: "Snow, heavy rain and strong winds are all expected to affect parts of the UK over the next day or so, bringing hazardous conditions at times."