Developing

Sub-Zero Weather Hits Britain As Snow Falls

A dusting of snow has fallen across parts of the UK, with more predicted over the weekend as many areas are gripped by sub-zero temperatures.

The frosty conditions are in contrast to the torrential rain and windy weather that played havoc in some parts of the Midlands and in North Wales at the start of the week.

Around 1cm of snow has settled in parts of northern England and Scotland, including Cumbria, Teesside and County Durham, while 2.5cm has covered the Pennines and the Southern Uplands.

In the Midlands, southern England and Wales temperatures are below freezing, and as low as -5C in some areas.

The frosty weather is expected to last for the next few days, with more snow predicted in the north and Scotland tomorrow night.

The freezing temperatures have brought with them a risk of ice, following the recent heavy rainfall.

The Met Office issued a low-level warning of severe weather, affecting much of the UK for the morning.

It said: "Due to the recent wet weather there is an increased risk of icy patches, even on roads that have been treated with salt, where water run off may wash off any earlier salt treatment.

"The public should be aware of the risk of ice on roads and pavements."

Patroller Andy Smith warned the weekend would be "winter's first serious test for drivers and their cars".

"Ice is the real concern, as it's been so wet recently, and it's very hard to distinguish between a puddle on the road and treacherous black ice," he said.

The snowfall in pockets of the UK has prompted a flurry of bets on a white Christmas - a gamble that typically peaks in mid-December.

"We've only opened one flap on the advent calendar and we're already inundated with money for a UK-wide white Christmas," said Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes.

Latest odds show Edinburgh is 5/2 for a white Christmas, ahead of London and Manchester, both 3/1.

Sky News weather presenter Jo Wheeler said temperatures will rise as rain spreads off the Atlantic.

"Progress will be slow, however, and it will be Sunday before that rain makes much impact on mainland UK, by which time, there is the risk of seeing some snow on the leading edge.

"For the bulk of the country, there will be a fine end to the day followed by a cold and frosty night, and a bright start to Sunday morning."

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