Health bosses have urged people to take care as bad weather is likely to hit the North East.
Snow and ice forecasts for large parts of the North East have prompted fresh health warnings from Public Health England (PHE).
The Met Office has forecast bad weather in all parts of England from this afternoon.
Widespread snow and ice is expected and it may persist until Sunday.
Because of this PHE is urging people to take action to keep themselves and others warm and well over the coming days.
Simple actions can include keeping up to date with local weather forecasts, stocking up on food, medicines and other essentials and taking care if you go out and about.
Paul Davison, deputy director for health protection at PHE in the North East, said: "The Met Office is forecasting a spell of colder weather from this afternoon, with the possibility of some snow and icy conditions.
"Think now about what you need to do to prepare: if you need vital medicine or food get it before the bad weather arrives.
"People with underlying health conditions, very young children and those aged over 65 are at greatest risk, so think what you can do to help others.
“Keeping your home heated to at least 18C if you can, wearing lots of thin layers instead of fewer thicker ones, and, if you have to head out, using footwear with a good grip are all ways to deal with this weather and stay well this winter.”
Paul Gundersen, the Met Office's chief meteorologist, said: “The weather will become increasingly cold and windy as polar air spreads south across the country on Wednesday, with widespread severe frosts and significant wind chill.
"Wintry showers are also likely to affect many areas, most likely falling as snow over higher ground but occasionally also to low ground, especially where showers occur inland overnight. "On Thursday a band of rain spreading from the west across southern parts is likely to turn wintry during the afternoon, with the potential for heavy snow in places.
"As this clears through the evening, with clear skies there is a risk of a widespread frost and icy conditions quickly forming.
"With wintry weather expected across much of the UK, it’s a good idea to keep in touch with the latest forecast and our weather warnings."
Mr Gundersen added: “It’s most likely the snow will impact people in northern counties first, before spreading southwards across England.
"So the most important things we can all do are to keep warm, keep a close eye on the weather forecasts and think about what you can do to prepare and help others.”