Severe weather is forecast for a swathe of North Wales and central England on Sunday and snow has already fallen on parts of Powys, Herefordshire and Shropshire at a rate of several centimetres an hour.
Significant build-ups have been also reported in Leicestershire, Worcestershire and Bedfordshire, while snow has been falling heavily in Birmingham city centre.
Flights have been suspended at Birmingham Airport while the runway is cleared, leaving passengers facing delays, while a north-bound section of the M1 has been closed in Leicestershire due to numerous vehicles being stranded.
Police forces in Wales and across the Midlands have urged motorists not to travel unless ‘absolutely necessary’ as they deal with surging calls.
Persistent heavy snowfall is expected in the region throughout the morning, leading the Met Office to issue an amber weather warning that will be in place until 6pm.
Up to 10cm is expected to build up quite widely, with 15-20cm in some spots, raising the prospect of roads becoming impassable.
The amber alert is accompanied by a yellow warning of wind for parts of eastern England, London and the South East, the South West and Wales that could bring ‘short-term loss of power and other services’ as well as transport disruption.
London and the rest of southern England and Wales will instead be lashed by strong winds and rain, where gusts could reach 70mph, according to the Met Office.
Highways England advised road users across the Midlands and northern England to check the forecast and routes before heading out as a section of the M1 was closed.
The authority tweeted that traffic had stopped on the M1 northbound between J16 and J17 due to ‘numerous break downs/stuck vehicles’.
North Wales Police, Leicestershire Police and the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) urged motorists not to travel unless ‘absolutely necessary’.
The CMPG tweted: ‘Lots of snow overnight and it’s still falling, difficult driving conditions across the motorway network & region’s roads please only travel if absolutely necessary, make sure your car is fit to travel in & take extra clothes, drinks and snacks in case you get stuck or delayed.’