Rescuers were drafted in to assist on the M74 motorway in Scotland, where jackknifed lorries stopped traffic from flowing freely in both directions as temperatures plummeted to -4C (25F).
A status yellow warning issued for wintry showers, possibly leading to snow in parts of the country, will be valid from 6am on Tuesday until 3am on Wednesday.
Mountain rescue teams were called in to assist those stuck in Dumfries and Galloway due to the adverse weather.
As the winds strengthen tonight, rain sweeping in, falling and sleet and wet snow across hills of southern Britain - further north more significant snow expected to bring up to another 20cm in parts of Scotland and northern England.
It goes on to say: "During Wednesday night and into Thursday there is the potential for gusts of 60-70 miles per hour quite widely and a small chance of winds reaching 80 miles per hour in places".
"We expect overnight temperatures in minus double digits and while it will turn calmer it will remain unsettled in parts with an ongoing risk of snow".
"The showers for most will ease for a time later this afternoon and this evening as a storm starts to take shape over Ireland".
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Disruption and cancellations are also expected to rail and air travel, with some rural communities at risk of becoming cut off and left without power.
More than 50 schools and nurseries in the Highlands have been closed due to the weather with over 3,000 children enjoying a snow day.
Snow has also already fallen in parts of northern England and Northern Ireland, with 1cm (0.4in) reported in Lough Fea.
Winds may be stronger on the west coast coast.
Cabinet member for highways and transport county councillor Keith Iddon said: "We're prepared for some wintry showers overnight and into tomorrow morning".
Police Scotland declared a critical incident.
"If your journey is not essential, please avoid this particular area of the M74".