London is poised for a "mini Beast from the East" after the Met Office issued a yellow snow warning for this weekend.

Temperatures will tumble this weekend as a bitter blast brings the potential for up to 5cm in some parts and 20cm on higher ground.

Meteorologist Martin Bowles said snow will first appear on this afternoon (March 16) elsewhere in the UK, but will hit London over the weekend.

"On Saturday that snow band in the east starts to move further south - including affecting south-east England and London - it will weaken as it does so," he said.

Mr Bowles said that in certain areas where the snow is gathered, up to 5cm could be seen, which he said is "enough to cause a fair amount of disruption to transport".

Asked about the possibility of some of the snow warnings being upgraded, Mr Bowles said "amber is certainly a possibility" on Sunday, but that a red warning is "extremely unlikely".

He added: "We don't expect it to be Beast from the East Mark Two, you could call it a mini Beast from the East I suppose as it is a less severe version of it.

"We don't expect anything like the same impact as a result of it, although there will be some snow about."

Mr Bowles said from Saturday and Sunday "very cold temperatures for this time of year will affect the whole of the UK", with ice a potential issue for many.

"By Sunday we expect the maximum temperatures to be only 1C and some parts will stay below freezing all day... it is probably the coldest day of the lot," he added.

He said the bitterly cold blast will be "fairly short lived", with low temperatures still around on Monday before the mercury rises "fairly rapidly" from Tuesday.