Threat of hill snow as temperatures plummet in North East

You may need to scrape those windscreens.

You may need to scrape those windscreens.

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The first snow warning for the North East has been issued by the Met Office as Arctic air is forced down over the region.

Bonfire Night is set to be chilly as wintry showers sweep along the coast, with snow forecast over higher ground.

It marks the beginning of what the Met Office is predicting to be a colder than average winter.

Professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: "The risk of a cold start to winter has increased to 30% this year.

"Statistically, however, it is still more likely that the UK will experience a normal start to winter, but there is an increased risk of cold snaps between now and Christmas, although this doesn't necessarily mean we will get large amounts of snow.

"Several factors, including tropical rainfall, are known to drive UK and European winter conditions: following a strong El Nino last year, the tropics are now influenced by a weak La Nina and unusual rainfall conditions in the Indian Ocean.

Photo: Alan P Thompson

Photo: Alan P Thompson

"Historical weather observations and our latest computer model simulations agree that these factors are increasing the risk of a cold start to winter for the UK, but this is unlikely to persist through winter as a whole."

The weekend will be see temperatures at around 8C during the day but thermometers are expected to fall close to zero overnight - so you may have to scrape those windscreens on a morning.

The Met Office forecast for the North East over the coming days:

This Evening and Tonight:

A mainly cloudy evening with showery rain clearing to isolated showers, and many areas becoming dry during the early hours. Clearing skies will allow temperatures to fall quickly with a little frost likely by dawn. Minimum Temperature 1C.

Friday:

Mainly dry and chilly with sunshine and light winds. Showers seem likely in the west over the Pennines especially, but staying drier in the east. Maximum Temperature 9C.

Outlook for Saturday to Monday:

Colder and windier during the weekend with sunshine and heavy showers, these wintry over the Pennines. Coastal gales likely, but winds easing during Monday. Overnight frost, especially in the west.