A wintry blast, dubbed the Beast from the East has hit the region with warnings of disruption to roads and public transport.
The blast swept into the UK on Monday morning, and is expected to last most of the week.
Amber warnings of snow have been issued by the Met Office for the North East on Tuesday.
There were also warnings that some rural communities could become cut off, with power outages and disruption to mobile phone services likely.
The snow is expected to come into the North East through the early hours, moving across County Durham, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and then Staffordshire, before moving towards Birmingham and the West Midlands.
Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, has warned drivers to be extra prepared for their journeys.
- Watch: People get prepared for the Beast From the East
Doctors have warned that the NHS could struggle to cope with the extra strain caused by the weather.
People are being warned to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours during the cold spell.
The public has also been asked to look out for the homeless and report anyone sleeping rough in the freezing conditions to their local council.
By the middle of the week, the majority of Britain is being warned of the potential for delays on the roads, trains and in the air.<
A less severe yellow warning for snow is in place from Monday to Wednesday.
Lows of minus 5C (23F) recorded over the weekend marked the lowest temperature in the week leading up to March 1, the first day of spring, since 1986.
The wind chill, which could see parts of the UK feeling as cold as minus 15C (5F), rivals the temperatures forecast for parts of northern Norway and Iceland.
The Met Office said that by the end of Wednesday, more than 20cm of snow may have accumulated in some parts of eastern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.