UP to 10cm of snow may settle in Surrey and Hampshire from around 5pm this evening (Thursday), the Met Office has warned.

Forecasters now believe “the most likely scenario” is for two to four cm to fall above about 100 metres elevation across parts of south east England with one to two cm to low levels in places.

As a guide, Farnham town centre is around 70m above sea level while The Ridgeway and Shortheath Road is around 100m and Folly Hill and Upper Hale are 120 to 150m.

However, there remains a small chance of snow settling more widely with five to 10 cm at low levels across southeast England until around 8pm this evening, leading to disruption to road, rail and air services as well as interruptions to power supplies and other utilities.

Associated heavy rain and strong winds may prove additional hazards. As skies clear this evening and tonight there is also potential for widespread ice to form quite rapidly on untreated surfaces.

This has prompted the Met Office to issue a ‘level 3’ cold weather alert for south east England - requiring social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups.

Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.

For more information about how cold weather can affect your health visit the website www.nhs.uk. Anyone concerned about their health or somebody they care for, advice can be obtained from www.nhs.uk/winterhealth, NHS 111 or your local pharmacist.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “As a developing area of low pressure moves east across southern Britain today there is potential for rain to turn rapidly to snow as cold air is drawn in.

“However, there remains uncertainty over the track and intensity of this system, meaning that confidence is low in the amount and extent of any snow.”