THE first snow of the winter has fallen in York and weather warnings are in place for the city and North Yorkshire.

A smattering of snow fell overnight in York on Wednesday night (November 29) and drivers are being warned of icy conditions in the days ahead as the Met Office has issued snow and ice yellow alerts for large areas of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland amid plummeting temperatures.

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York Press: Grosvenor Terrace this morning Grosvenor Terrace this morning (Image: Haydn Lewis)

The national weather service has advised of the likelihood of people suffering slips and fall injuries in one of the first icy periods of the winter.

It is also advising of the chance of disruption to road, bus and rail networks – with ice patches forming on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths.

One yellow warning – covering areas in north-east England, the East Midlands, the east of England, Yorkshire and Humber and parts of Scotland – will be active from 5pm on Thursday until 11am on Friday.

York Press: Children enjoying the dusting of snow in YorkChildren enjoying the dusting of snow in York (Image: Sarah Gabbatiss)

Motoring organisation the RAC urged drivers to “ensure they’re winter ready as some get their first real taste of snow and ice”.

Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong said on Wednesday: “Snow showers will continue along the North Sea coast with a north-easterly air flow, leading to further accumulations over higher ground.

“Where the showers fall as rain, there is a risk of icy patches forming overnight with temperatures widely dipping below freezing.”

Although temperatures are falling away forecasters are predicting sunny days until Sunday (December 3) in York.

Temperatures across the county are not set to get much above freezing for several days with lows of -4°C on Saturday and -2°C in York on Sunday.

Forecasters say that in York and North Yorkshire we're in for a cold weekend with some sharp frosts and a continued risk of fog with a generally drier Saturday and perhaps a breezier and cloudier Sunday. It is expected to be somewhat milder with rain possible late Sunday or Monday.

York Press: Marygate this morning Marygate this morning (Image: Haydn Lewis)

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said the UK is being hit by a blast of cold air from Scandinavia, causing a cold snap for many in the North.

Ladbrokes’ latest betting odds for snow to fall anywhere in the UK on Christmas Day are 1/2, and it says Edinburgh and Newcastle are the “most likely destinations to see snow”.

But the Met Office urged people to take a prediction this far in advance with a “pinch of salt”.

Ms Maxey added: “Christmas is still a month away, so it is impossible with this lead time to have any confidence in a detailed forecast.”

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued an amber cold-health alert throughout Yorkshire which means that cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service until December 5.

York Press: Frosty pawprintsFrosty pawprints (Image: Sally Millington)