James Knight, RAC director of roadside operations, said: "The end of this week and into the weekend will see an arctic blast sweep across the country, with snow for many of us, but our roadside patrols are well prepared and will be working around the clock to assist our members who find themselves in hard situations".
Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected as cancellations are likely. "There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off".
Winds are forecast to strengthen across parts of Britain on Wednesday ahead of the arrival of Storm Caroline.
The storm has moved in the direction of Scandinavia, drawing cold air from the north sea.
Arriva Trains Wales and Scotrail also issued warnings.
John West, Met Office meteorologist, said: "We saw a fairly consistent stream of snow showers overnight, and there will be a constant feed throughout the day and into Friday".
In the North East, the warning covers the southern part of Northumberland and the local authority areas of North and South Tynesde, Newcastle, Gateshead, Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees and Sunderland.
"There will also be frequent showers across the north and west of the United Kingdom and Ireland through the day, which will turn increasingly to sleet and snow, mainly over high ground".
Forecasters at the Met Office said 10cm of snow looked likely within the warning area, with 15-20cm in places. "Possible travel delays on roads".
Met Eireann has issued status yellow weather warnings as the storm looms.
Most of the snow across Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, west Midlands and occasional flurries across parts of the West Country - with brisk winds, blowing snow and blizzard conditions across high ground making for bad conditions if having to travel.
"There may also be bridge restrictions, particularly for high-sided vehicles, and we would urge road users to check the latest information on wind thresholds on the Traffic Scotland website to see where this is likely".