Northern England will enjoy the calm before the storm today as they brace themselves for a fresh dump of heavy snow tomorrow.

Up to 6cm (2.4in) of snow will coat northern reaches of the country tomorrow afternoon, with up to 15cm (6in) possible on high ground north of the border.

Forecasters are predicting a dry, cold and cloudy day across much of the UK today, with a dusting of snow and sleet in northern and eastern parts of the UK.

Clear spells tonight, especially in eastern areas, will bring the threat of icy patches, but a band of rain moving in from the Atlantic early tomorrow morning will turn into snow across much of England and Scotland.

Nick Prebble, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: There will be snow across much of England and Scotland, and it will settle through the Midlands, the North and Scotland.

"The Midlands will see up to 4cm (1.6in), further north in England will have up to 6cm (2.4in) while lower ground in Scotland could have 8cm (3.2cm). But on higher ground that is likely to be more than 10cm (4in), possibly up to 15cm (6in), with significant falls of snow."

But the freeze is likely to be short lived, and the snow will thaw and melt away overnight tomorrow as milder air comes in from the west, Mr Prebble said, paving the way for dry, sunny spells until Friday.

Snow, ice and cold temperatures caused travel disruption yesterday, shutting about a dozen schools in the Midlands, and possible flood waters could add to problems today.

The A27 near Chichester this morning is experiencing delays because of flooding, while the A46 from Coventry towards the M5 near Alcester is partially flooded, the Highways Agency said.

The Environment Agency said there was a low risk of flooding affecting homes and businesses, but warned people to take care as 112 flood alerts and 16 flood warnings were in place across the country, mainly in the Midlands and the South East.

Over the weekend thousands of passengers were stranded in America after flights to Britain were grounded when a massive snowstorm hit the US east coast.

It dumped more than 3ft of snow from Massachusetts to New Jersey, while hurricane-force winds battered the eastern states and up into Canada, killing at least 14 people.