SOUTH Yorkshire has been warned to brace itself after weather forecasters warned between 4 and 6 inches of snow is set to fall tonight.
Temperatures were expected to plunge to minus two degrees tonight - just days after sunny Sheffield basked in temperatures of 21.4C.
Sheffield Council said gritters would take to the streets as soon as snow begins to fall, and transport bosses and emergency services chiefs were making contingency plans.
Nick Pebble, a forecaster for Metogroup, said rain will turn to sleet and then snow.
He warned: “There will be 10 to 15cms of snowfall across the county tonight, especially on higher ground and across the Pennines.
“It will last pretty much through the night, so there will be a white start on Wednesday morning, especially in Sheffield, and it will be very cold.”
The snow will start to turn to sleet tomorrow morning, before moving south, he said.
Temperatures will reach highs of around seven degrees on Wednesday, returning to a seasonal average of around 12C later in the week.
Sheffield Council emergency services manager Wayne Southall said: “We would normally pre-treat roads with salt but the forecast is for rain to turn to snow which means that’s not possible.
“We can’t salt roads during rain because it would wash away.
“Treatment of roads will have to start once snow arrives.
“There are 10 drivers working the night shift who will be sent out with gritters if the snow arrives.
“Preparations will be the same as for any day in December or January when frost or snow is more likely.”
A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: “With the threat of bad weather we would remind people to take extra care on the roads, by allowing extra time for their journeys and preparing themselves accordingly for the conditions.
“Snow, ice and spray mean that, in addition to poor visibility, stopping distances increase and drivers should be prepared for the unexpected on the roads.”
A spokesman for bus company First said: “We are monitoring the weather on a regular basis and will take all necessary steps to run our bus services as normal.”
Stagecoach Yorkshire managing director Paul Lynch said: “As usual, we will be making every effort to ensure we operate as many services as possible across the region, despite the expected snowfall.
“We would also advise customers to allow more time for their journeys as the winter weather may cause some disruption and delays.”
Volunteer snow warden Richard Purdy, of Crookes, said: “We have not been put on notice and the only salt we have is in the roadside bins - none has been delivered.
“But, if snow does come down, I’ll be ready to go out and help keep the area clear.”