UPDATE: THE Met Office has issued a red warning for southeast Wales including parts of Monmouthshire.

The warning, which is the Met Office’s highest level of warning, is in place from 3pm on Thursday 1st March to 2pm on Friday 2nd March.

Extensive disruption is expected and unnecessary journeys are not advised, Monmouthshire County Council has also advised schools to close as soon as possible today while all schools will be closed on Friday 2nd March.

The chief forecaster at the Met Office said: “Widespread snow is expected to develop through Thursday afternoon and evening.

"Around 10 to 20 cm is likely to fall widely, with the potential for up to 30 to 50 cm over parts of Dartmoor, Exmoor and parts of southeast Wales.

“Snowfall will be accompanied by strong to gale easterly winds, leading to severe drifting of lying snow especially in upland areas.

“Severe cold and wind chill will compound the dangerous conditions, with very poor visibility.

“Towards midnight, there is a chance of snow turning to freezing rain in places, mainly across the south of the area, with widespread icy stretches making driving conditions particularly dangerous.”

An amber warning will still remain in place is some parts of Monmouthshire as previously reported.

With news of the upgrade this morning Monmouthshire County Council moved quickly to close local schools.

On its website it advised parents “The Met Office has just upgraded its weather warning for Wales to red.

“This is the highest level of risk and we are now advising all schools to make arrangements to close as soon as practically possible.

“This deterioration in the forecast and the earlier than expected arrival of snow this morning has prompted this change in advice. This is for the safety of staff and pupils.

“All Monmouthshire County Council Schools will be closed on Friday 2nd March.”

MONMOUTHSHIRE should prepare itself for more snow with the Met Office issuing an amber warning for the next two days.

The Met Office has upgraded a previous yellow warning for snow and ice to an amber warning for snow and ice from 12pm on Thursday 1st March to 8am on Friday 2nd March.

A yellow warning will continue to remain in place for the remainder of Friday, ending at 8am on Saturday 3rd March.

According to the Met Office the amber warning comes with a forecast of heavy snow.

“A spell of heavy snow is expected to move north across Southwest England and Wales through Thursday afternoon and evening.

“Some places could also see significant ice build up overnight into Friday.

“The snow is likely to be accompanied by strong easterly winds. Long delays and cancellations to public transport is expected, whilst some roads may become blocked by deep snow, stranding vehicles and passengers.

“Long interruptions to power supplies and other utilities are likely to occur.”

Action is already being taken across the county to prepare for the weather with Monmouthshire County Council postponing the council meeting scheduled for 1st March which was set to approve the latest budget.

Meanwhile a number of schools in the area will close early on Thursday 1st March including Overmonnow Primary School and Llandogo Primary School.

Both have made the decision to close at 12pm following advice from Monmouthshire County Council.

Other schools have advised parents to check for updates as they monitor the weather.