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UK Weather: Snowfall Forecast For Sunday As Sub-Zero Temperatures Grip Country (PICTURES)

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Parts of Britain can expect further snowfall from Sunday with sub-zero temperatures gripping the country.

Many awoke to a thin smattering of snow on Saturday, as communities in the northern part of England and Scotland ushered in December with wintry conditions and a festive dusting of the white stuff.

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Cashmere goats standing on frosty ground in early morning mist in Oxfordshire

And forecasters say further bursts of sleet and snow are expected this weekend, as Britain prepares itself for widespread overnight frosts.

Michael Dukes, director of forecasting with MeteoGroup - the weather division of the Press Association - said heavy rainfall would likely turn to snow tomorrow evening, as temperatures plummet.

He said: "There could be several centimetres of snow on the higher ground in Scotland and northern England by the end of the weekend.

"We could have something like -8C tonight, and it will be cold again tomorrow."

He said a band of warm air means temperatures could peak at 11C on Monday, but that this would be "a blip", as milder conditions give way to icy cold winds.

"By Wednesday, the cold weather will have returned," he said.

"There is no sign yet of widespread snow cover. But it is staying on the cold side and the longer that happens, the greater chance there is of us seeing some more snow."

Light snowfall was reported in Cumbria, Teesside and County Durham, while an inch covered the Pennines and the Southern Uplands, as temperatures struggled to peak above freezing in many places.

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

The white start to the month was enough to prompt record numbers of punters to place bets on snow falling on Christmas Day.

According to bookmakers Ladbrokes, more money had been staked on a white Christmas by today than by any other December 1 in its history.

Last night's snowfall came after 10 days of flooding misery in the UK, where much of south-west England, the Midlands and north Wales were hit by heavy rainfall and gusty winds.

During this period three people died, hundreds were evacuated from their homes, and thousands of motorists were left stranded as roads were smothered by surging flood water.

At its peak last weekend, four severe flood warnings were put in place, indicating an immediate risk to life due to serious flooding.

Around 150 alerts were in place this morning, with nearly 20 flood warnings - where the risk of flooding is expected - in the south-east of England and the Midlands. However, that number dropped to 120 by lunchtime and plateaued, and an agency spokeswoman said there was no immediate risk of further flooding as a direct result of the overnight snowfall.

Emergency services and breakdown companies have also warned motorists to take extra care as the cold weather tightens its grip on the country.

The AA reported record flood-related call-outs at the height of the travel disruption last month, as landslides and debris brought parts of Britain's transport network to its knees, prompting motorists to take a chance on the roads.

Patroller Andy Smith warned today: "This weekend will 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."

The AA said it was particularly busy in London, having been called out to reports of flat batteries as Christmas shoppers return to find their vehicles unable to start.

They said they were on track to receive 12,500 call-outs for the day, compared with around 9,500 on an average Saturday.

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