MOST parts of the North-East have so far escaped the heavy snow predicted to hit the region today (Sunday, February 10).

However, it is believed the worst of the wintery conditions are yet to come, with rain turning to sleet and light snow later this evening as the temperatures drop.

Brendan Jones, a senior forecaster for MeteoGroup, said between five and ten centimetres of snow could fall on areas of high ground within the North-East, such as the Pennines, North York Moors and parts of North Yorkshire.

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On Friday, the met office issued severe weather warnings of “significant” snow, ice and rain during the weekend from north-east Scotland down to south-east England, east Wales and Northern Ireland.

The snow was expected to begin this afternoon but, so far, it is only hit high level areas, which have received a light dusting.

Mr Jones said gritting crews remained on standby across the region.

“Over the next few hours the rain is going to turn to sleet and light snow,” he said.

“This will mainly be in North Yorkshire and some coastal areas of County Durham and Teesside may not receive any at all.”

He said the snow is likely to stop by tomorrow morning but warned motorists to be careful.

“While there may not have been much snow on lower ground it could potentially be quite icy,” he said.

“There are quite a few clear spells forecast for the night and clear skies increase the risk of everything freezing.”

Tomorrow is predicted to remain cold and dry, although Mr Jones said an easterly wind could bring further sleet and snow showers.

“The next significant snow risk is on Wednesday,” he added.