Leeds is bracing itself as icy conditions and severe snow look set to grip the country.
Temperatures are forecast to plummet as low as -14c from today until next month as arctic blasts are expected.
Temperatures are expected to drop everywhere with wintry showers in Scotland and down the east coast.
Alexi Boothman, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: “Temperatures will fall over the weekend, and in many places, even during the daytime, we won’t see more than a degree or two above zero.
“We can expect to see wintry showers arriving in parts of Scotland and north east England, driven by cold easterly winds, and also down the east coast as far as East Anglia.
“There may also be some snow showers in Wales.”
The Highways Agency said it was “well prepared” for winter conditions.
A spokeswoman said: “We have a fleet of 500 state-of-the-art winter vehicles on stand-by, supported by tried and tested winter resilience plans.
“We have reviewed salt stock levels and taken action where needed to enhance our resilience and we have again established a reserve salt stock to help ensure that there is enough salt to deal with severe winter.”
A spokesman from Leeds City Council said the city has been placed on an amber weather alert as the mercury plummets.
He said weather conditions would be constantly monitored over the weekend but there were no plans to put the gritting teams out.
He warned that gritting teams would be on stand-by if the big freeze does arrive.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is warning motorists to adapt the way they drive to suit conditions.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety, said: “The most important thing to remember about driving safely in wintry weather is to be prepared.
“Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition and add enough time for a journey so you are less likely to rush to make up for any delays.”