THE mild conditions enjoyed since the start of the year are set to be replaced by snow and freezing temperatures, forecasters have warned.

A severe weather warning for ice has been issued by the Met Office for Saturday across the News Shopper region (January 12).

Outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow are expected to clear southwards throughout Saturday afternoon and evening.

Temperatures will then fall rapidly, leading to a risk of icy surfaces.

The Met Office is warning people to be aware there is a risk of disruption to travel.

Sean Penston, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "In the next few days it will start getting colder.

"The minimum temperature in the UK will be into minus figures. “By Sunday it could be -4C (25F) or -5C (23F) in some parts.

"There's more of an easterly wind coming in, with the possibility of snow showers by the weekend and the start of next week.

"It's difficult to say for certain at the moment, but in parts of Scotland there will be quite a bit of snow, as well as the east coast of England.

“Western areas will be a bit more sheltered from the conditions."