The county has seen its first sign of snow and wintry showers and more could follow over higher ground later tonight.

A Met Office forecast says outbreaks of rain will arrive by midday and continue through the afternoon, falling as snow over higher ground.

Later tonight the ‘rain will turn to wintry showers during the evening and continue overnight, falling heaviest over the Pennines. Strong winds are likely in coastal areas but calmer inland’.

Over Saturday early outbreaks of rain will clear by mid-morning. It will be dry and bright for most thereafter, though some wintry showers will affect the north and east during the afternoon.

But much of the disruption could be for the east of England plus London and the South East  where the Met Office warned of heavy rain and snow that could lead to tricky travel due to surface water and “possible slushy accumulations”.

It added: “In a few places 1-2cm of snow could accumulate, mainly on grassy surfaces over the North Downs and Chilterns”

A number of yellow warnings for ice and snow are in place across large areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland and stretch down into North Yorkshire which suggest possible travel disruption.

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern described early Friday as being that “awkward mixture of cold rain, sleet and falling snow” for many areas of Britain.

The Met Office said the cold spell is expected to last through to Friday but that the weekend would see brighter weather and even some sunshine.

It added that temperatures going into next week would be lower than the average annual temperature, which is usually about 7-9C.