BRITAIN is bracing for a weekend of rain and snow as temperatures continue to plummet below zero, leaving the nation preparing for a white Christmas.
Voters in parts of Scotland were forced to wade through the snow and freezing temperatures to reach polling stations on Thursday. And now the weather shows no sign of easing up across the country.
The Met Office is forecasting snow and sleet across the nation but regions of northern England and Scotland will suffer the most.
Temperatures of 8C (46.4F) or 9C (48.2F) will feel cooler due to winds of between 40mph and 50mph closing in on some regions.
Some areas will feel freezing temperatures when wind chill is factories in.
On Saturday, the weather will be dry and bright throughout most of the country but particularly in the south of England.
But in the evening, snow will blanket particular regions.
A Met Office meteorologist said: “A front of rain from the southwest will hit cold air, and we could see snow to north Wales and and the north of England.
“Saturday night could bring five to ten centimetres on higher ground in Scotland and the north of England, and perhaps a centimetre on lower ground in the northeast.”
A spokesman said that snow falling overnight is likely to settle on the ground.
However, no weather warnings have been put in place so far.
By Saturday, there is a 100 percent chance of snow in parts of Scotland, while much of west England and Wales will face a snow risk of up to 90 percent.
The Netweather charts shows widespread shades of red and white, indicating the high probability of snow over higher ground across central and northern England as well as Scotland.
Saturday night will see temperatures dip a couple of degrees below freezing in the north, but the south will remain mild.
Sunday will be a day of showers with some sunshine breaking through the clouds in the southeast.
The Met Office added: “Temperatures in the south will still be reaching maximums of 9C (48.2F) or 10C (50F), and most places will struggle to reach mid-single figures, but the wind should be lighter than on Saturday.”
Yet on Sunday night, temperatures will plunge even lower compared to Saturday.
Scotland, the north of England and Northern Ireland are likely to experience lows of -6C (21.2F) or -7C (19.4F).
BBC Weather forecaster Louise Lear indicated the UK should expect wintry weather to strike this weekend.
She said: “The band of showers moving across Northern Ireland and northern England will drift their way into the Scottish borders across southwest Scotland overnight.
“We keep the risk of some scattered showers across west faces gales with gale-force winds close to the Channel Islands as well.
“Chilly start to Saturday morning, low single figures for most town and city centres, just below in some rural spots – and that is the theme as we go into the weekend.
“It’s a case of sunny spells and blustery showers, but because it is pretty cold with any elevation, we could see some of those showers turning increasingly wintry.”
Bookmakers have slashed the odds on a white Christmas.
Coral predicts the odds of a white Christmas anywhere in the UK at 4/6 odds, in Aberdeen at 5/2 odds, Glasgow at 3/1, Manchester at 4/1 and London at 5/1.