Freezing rain set to hit the North East - Met Office issues 'danger to life' amber ice warning

Weather forecasters have issued an amber warning for ice and warned the North East to brace itself for freezing temperatures.

Freezing rain is expected to result in the rapid development of widespread ice, with very dangerous travelling conditions likely between 10am on Saturday and 6am on Sunday.

Pavements will become ice-bound and very slippery due to the freezing rain.

Pavements will become ice-bound and very slippery due to the freezing rain.

Freezing rain is rare in the UK, but when it does occur the impacts can be very severe.

This is due to the fact that it can form very quickly, it can be difficult to see and is incredibly slippery.

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Some sleet and snow is possible over the very highest ground and the freezing rain may also be followed by a spell of sleet and snow as the precipitation clears from the west.

The freezing rain and sleet and snow will be accompanied by strong southeasterly winds, which will pose an additional hazard to travel, particularly over high ground.

Motorists have been warned that driving conditions will become very dangerous due to the freezing rain.

Motorists have been warned that driving conditions will become very dangerous due to the freezing rain.

What to expect

Injuries from slips and falls and danger to life on icy surfaces are likely

Black ice may form quickly affecting bus, train and air travel

Dangerous driving conditions are likely, leading to road traffic collisions, road closures and longer journey times

Pavements and cycle paths are likely to become instantly impassable because of the sudden formation of black ice

Power and other services, such as telephone and mobile phone coverage, likely to be interrupted or cut

A yellow weather warning for snow, possible blizzards and high winds is already in place for the North East from lunchtime on Saturday into Sunday.