WEATHER warnings for snow have been extended until Thursday as the region wraps up for the latest wintry blast.
Snow is expected to continue to fall for the next few days, with temperatures feeling as cold as minus 10 in places due to the gusts of icy northern winds.
Children in parts of Northumberland were able to get their sledges out once again as one bus en route to schools in Hexham had to turn back. Elsewhere in the county, three schools were closed.
The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for snow from early Wednesday through until Thursday afternoon.
It is thought that a few centimetres will fall on lower ground but it could be up to 5cm (two inches) on higher ground in parts of Northumberland and Durham.
Forecaster Helen Chivers said: “The North East will continue to see some snow showers until Friday.
“They will most likely be heaviest again on Wednesday.
“In between there will be some sunshine too, and the winds that have made it feel even colder over the last few days will die down.
“There will be a frost at night and icy roads could be hazardous.”
Snow in March is not unusual, she added and can arrive as late as May, but she does not believe we are in for a white Easter.
“From Friday, the wind direction is due to change from the North to South Westerly and this will bring milder, wetter weather.”
Although too early to officially record, it is thought to be the coldest at this time of year in 27 years. The last time the UK experienced such a cold March day was on March 1, 1986.
In contrast, this time two years ago the country was basking in balmy temperatures of up to 17C (63F).
In Northumberland, Kielder Community First School and Greenhaugh First Schools were closed due to the snow and Guide Post Middle School was closed due to a problem with the heating.
In Newcastle, police issued a warning to revellers to dress appropriately while on nights out in the city after two people were treated for hypothermia on Sunday night.
The couple were found lying on the ground in the snow at Blandford Court, near the city centre. It is believed they had consumed alcohol.