The Amber warning is accompanied by a number of yellow National Severe Weather Warnings, highlighting a mix of wintry hazards, including snow, sleet, ice and rain.

Northern England is the focus of the Amber ice warning, with a prolonged period of freezing rain possible on Sunday. There’s a good chance of some travel disruption, as well as power cuts and injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces.

The warnings have been issued ahead of a marked change in weather type for much of the UK, with milder, wet and windy weather moving in from the south on Sunday and into Monday.

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Met Office Chief Meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: “While the northerly airflow and cold conditions that have dominated our weather in recent days are coming to a close, there’s a potent mix of wintery hazards on Sunday which has resulted in several warnings being issued.

“As this milder air from the south moves north, there’s a continued chance of snow, even to low levels, in the north of the UK. Freezing rain, which is a relatively rare phenomenon in the UK, is likely to impact areas near the Pennines and could result in some power interruptions and travel disruptions.

“Within the Amber warning area, freezing rain could lead to the build up of 2-3mm of ice on untreated surfaces, which is likely to cause treacherous travel conditions and road closures.”

Level 3 Cold Weather Alert is also in force by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) covering all of England and is currently in place until midnight on Sunday 18th December.

Conditions are expected to remain unsettled next week, with some strong winds and prolonged periods of rain. A Yellow warning for rain has also been issued for much of the south and southwest of England, as well as southern Wales. The warning is in force from late on Sunday through to early Tuesday, with in excess of 150mm of rain possible for high ground on Dartmoor, but more widely 30-80mm within the warning area.