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Snow Forecast Across UK As Winter Weather Prompts White Christmas Bets (PICTURES)

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Widespread snow is to fall across England and Scotland on Sunday, as the severe weather continues to plague Britain.

Many areas will see up to 3cm of snow mark the start of December, while 15cm is predicted to fall in the Scottish mountains.

snow

Much of the severe weather is expected in the Scottish highlands

Edinburgh, the Pennines, the Peak District, County Durham, Yorkshire, Norfolk and East Anglia are all expected to be affected.

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 yesterday than by any other December 1 in its history.

Overnight temperatures have dropped to -6C in many parts of Britain, from central Scotland through to Cumbria and Buckinghamshire.

white christmas

A young girl sleds in Perth, Scotland

The Met Office has issued a low-level severe weather warning across most of Scotland, north and east England, and north Wales, because of the freezing temperatures and snow fall.

It said: "Following showers of rain, sleet and snow on Saturday, ice is expected to form on untreated surfaces on Saturday evening and persist well into Sunday morning. Further wintry showers are likely to affect eastern coastal counties through the night.'

"The public should be aware of possible disruption to travel."

Bright sunshine will greet Britain this morning, but cold temperatures will remain and scattered showers will spread across from the east to the west marking an unsettled day.

"It will be a sunny and crisp start to the day, frosty and cold for many areas.

"There will be lots of sunshine this morning.

"By the end of the day the rain will have moved across into the west of the country.

"The rain will start to turn to snow, affecting a wide range of areas.

"It is quite severe weather still for parts of the UK."

And the end of the cold snap is still not in sight, with the freezing temperatures due to last into next week, possibly followed by more snow.

Friday 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 yesterday: "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.

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