A COLD and frosty start to winter is being forecast in York and North Yorkshire - with a possibility of snow.

The Met Office says the next two or three days will see milder but mostly cloudy weather after the cold and sunny weekend, with temperatures reaching as high as 12C in York today.

But it will become colder by Friday with sunny spells and a few showers, heralding a more prolonged spell of cold weather from the weekend, when showers may start to turn wintry even at lower levels.

The four-week forecast is for colder weather to continue next week, with the potential for some persistent rain across the south at first, with snow over higher ground. By the middle of next week, high pressure will bring cold northerly or easterly winds to the York area, with dry and sunny weather but also frost at night.

More sunny but cold weather is expected in late November and early December, with the possibility of rain or snow at times in the north.

The good news is that the mostly dry weather will cause low river levels for the time if year, minimising the likelihood of another devastating Boxing Day flood on rives such as the Ouse and Foss.

However, the cold weather has prompted a warning about driving on wintry rural roads by leading rural insurer NFU Mutual.

It said statistics had shown that more than half of road fatalities in 2016 occurred on rural roads.

“As colder conditions and dark nights take hold, motorists are being urged to adapt their driving accordingly and to be aware of slow-moving farm vehicles and vulnerable road users such as horse riders, walkers and cyclists,” said a spokesman.

Tim Price, the business’s rural affairs specialist, said drivers sometimes failed to appreciate the hazards of rural roads. “Modern vehicles tend to insulate drivers from harsh conditions outside – but sophisticated braking systems won’t prevent a skid on an untreated road after a frost,” he said.

“Many rural roads aren’t gritted after a frost or snowfall so it’s vital to stay alert.”