THE region has been warned to brace itself for a fresh blast of snow and icy temperatures today.
Yesterday, temperatures dropped to -10C in some parts of the North East, and experts predict little let-up this weekend.
The Met Office said snow will hit the region from today and will continue into the weekend, creating havoc on the roads.
In some places, temperatures are set to rise, but forecasters say it won’t feel any warmer due to strong winds.
Robin Thwaites, from the Met Office, said: “As the day goes on you can expect more snow showers. The region can expect to see around four inches of snow from mid-afternoon on Friday to around 9am on Saturday morning.
“The temperatures will pick up a bit and they are likely to hover around zero and it won’t drop to as low as -10 like it has done. However, it won’t feel any warmer because of the wind.”
Today, temperatures in Morpeth and Hexham could fall to as low as -3C, while people in Low Fell, Gateshead, will see temperatures of around -1C.
Widespread disruption to travel is likely but many of the region’s services have back-up plans in place to deal with the cold and snowy weather.
During the cold snap, bus company Go North East said it has had teams of employees working through the night to keep their services running.
Throughout freezing temperatures, workers have to de-ice 600 buses in depots across the region before starting engines and preparing the vehicles for the first early-morning commute.
If necessary, extra people are called in overnight to help prepare the vehicles.
A Go North East spokesman said: “We have got 600 buses to put out across Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Durham, which means that, overnight and in the early hours of the morning, the vehicles are being prepared, depending on the severity of the weather.
“Workers will check engines are being started and they will give engines a chance to warm up in the morning. De-icer will also be sprayed on windows and mirrors.”
Bosses at the Tyne and Wear Metro say they will be working around the clock ahead of the snow to ensure services are kept going.
Special heaters are also used to prevent ice on the tracks.
A Nexus spokesman said: “We have special heaters to prevent the points from freezing on the Metro tracks and staff will be working round the clock in the coming days to ensure the service keeps going. There were delays due to some of the trains breaking down yesterday morning as a result of the extreme cold but services have been running.”