The Met Office has warned road users about icy conditions amid plummeting temperatures.

Snow and ice yellow warnings have been issued by the Met Office for large areas of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

The national weather service has advised of the likelihood of people suffering slips and fall injuries in one of the first icy periods of the winter.

It also said that disruption to road, bus and rail networks could occur with ice patches forming on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths.

The Northern Echo: Some areas of England and Scotland can expect to see snow and ice over the next few daysSome areas of England and Scotland can expect to see snow and ice over the next few days (Image: PA Graphics)

One yellow warning which covers areas in north-east England, the East Midlands, the east of England, Yorkshire and Humber and parts of Scotland will be active from 5pm on Thursday until 11am on Friday.

Another affects Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and will be in place until 4pm on Thursday.

An earlier warning remains in place until 11am on Thursday for eastern Scotland and north-east England down to North Yorkshire, where snow caused closures on the A169 while a yellow ice warning for Northern Ireland is in place until 10am on Thursday.

Motoring organisation the RAC urged drivers to “ensure they’re winter ready as some get their first real taste of snow and ice”.

How to drive safely in snow and ice

Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong said on Wednesday: “We’ve already seen snow settling in parts of eastern Scotland and north-eastern England.

“As the cold air continues to spread across the UK, we also expect to see some snow over the high ground of south-west England overnight and through tomorrow.

“Snow showers will continue along the North Sea coast with a north-easterly air flow, leading to further accumulations over higher ground.

“Where the showers fall as rain, there is a risk of icy patches forming overnight with temperatures widely dipping below freezing.”

For the rest of Thursday, southern counties of England can expect cloudy weather with patchy rain at times, falling as snow across the hills in the southwest.

What different Met Office weather warnings mean

Elsewhere, the sun will be out with wintry showers towards coasts in the east.

However, most places will remain dry with sunny spells that will develop into a widespread frost overnight.

Wintry showers may develop by Thursday evening near the North Sea coasts and in parts of Northern Ireland.

Moving into Friday, the weather will remain cold with sunny spells and some wintry showers, mainly towards coastal areas.

It comes after temperatures plunged to a low of minus 7.2C in England as snow fell in Scotland, Northumberland and Yorkshire.

Although wintery showers and snow are likely, the Met Office has said it is too early to predict a white Christmas.

The three lowest temperatures recorded at its observation sites overnight were all in Cumbria on Wednesday with a low of minus 7.2C in Bridgefoot, minus 6.5C in Shap and minus 6.1C in Keswick, the forecaster said.

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said on Wednesday it had already recorded snow in eastern Scotland, Northumberland and Yorkshire with about 2cm of snow in some eastern coast areas and 5cm at Fylingdales on the North York Moors.

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The UK is being hit by a blast of cold air from Scandinavia, causing a cold snap for many in the north.

In the day, temperatures are expected to drop to single-digit figures this week and night temperatures are expected to stay below freezing for large parts of England and Scotland.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued warnings of its own with yellow and amber cold-health alerts for northern regions of England until December 5.