Snow and ice hits parts of the North East and North Yorkshire

Sleet, hail and snow showers have hit parts of the North East and North Yorkshire today.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice and snow that is expected to affect County Durham, Northumberland and Teesside.

The first warning is in place from 10am until 4pm today, while the second is in place from 8pm tonight right through to 12pm on Friday.

Our camera operator Paul Kingston caught these shots this morning of ice pancakes forming on the River Tees in County Durham.

What are "Ice Pancakes"?

An ice phenomenon:

Ice pancakes are a phenomenon where discs of ice anywhere from 20 - 200 cm wide are formed creating a unique spectacle.

Ice pancakes are a relatively rare phenomenon that tends to occur in very cold oceans, lakes and rivers. They require some rather specific conditions in order to form.

They are most frequently seen in the Baltic Sea and around Antarctica.

They are also believed to form when foam on a river begins to freeze which begin to join together and as they are sucked into an eddy (a swirling current of water) and form into a circular shape as a result. As other bits of frozen foam and ice hit the forming disc they freeze to it and increase its size.

Whilst ice pancakes look like solid discs, they are often quite slushy and easily break apart when lifted up.

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Commuters have been warned that the weather conditions could cause travel disruptions - with roads and railways likely to be affected causing longer journey times.

The Met Office has also warned that there is a small chance of power cuts and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.