North and Scotland set for snow

Heavy snow is set to hit large parts of Scotland and northern England this weekend as winter returns with a vengeance.

The freezing conditions are expected to last through most of the weekend with disruption expected on the roads.

Temperatures are set to drop through today as the rain turns to snow by evening and roads become icy.

Yesterday, strong winds battered many parts of the country, leaving two dead in West Yorkshire after two lorries toppled over in the gusts.

North east England and Scotland are expected to bear the brunt of the snow - with up to 4in (10cm) predicted on higher ground.

Andy Ratcliffe, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the band of snow would hit northern England and southern Scotland tonight, before pushing further north on Saturday.

"It is not unusual to have snow in March but we are expecting accumulations on higher ground," he said.

"It is possible it could cause disruption on the roads and transport network where it lies on the ground."

Northumbria could see 0.4in-1.2in (1cm-3cm) of snow tonight, with 2in (5cm) predicted on higher ground, Mr Ratcliffe said.

"On Saturday the band of snow will move across Scotland and affect north west Scotland, the Central Highlands and Grampian."

There could be as much as 4in (10cm) in Scotland on higher ground - making driving particularly hazardous.

Southern England and Wales will remain mild and unaffected by the latest band of snow, the forecaster added.