BRITS are poised for a white Christmas as temperatures plummet to -9C – making the UK colder than Russia.
The Met Office forecast widespread frost and freezing fog to start the week after two inches of snow hit northern England’s higher ground last night.
Lows were forecast to nudge -9C in Scotland’s Highlands this morning – considerably cooler than the -1C forecast for St Petersburg.
Sub-freezing temperatures have sparked a severe weather warning for ice in parts of Scotland and Northern England from 3am until mid-morning on Monday.
The Met Office predicted the mercury would plummet “widely below zero” and warned of icy stretches on roads and up to 2cm snow on roads.
And forecasters issued fresh weather warnings for ice across Northern Ireland, Scotland and the north of England for Monday.
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ATLANTIC JET STREAM
Washouts and strong winds are forecast from Wednesday and Thursday – just as hundreds of schools break up for the festive period.
Dramatic photos show St Ives in Cambridgeshire surrounded by flood water yesterday after the River Great Ouse burst its banks again after the last few days of heavy rain.
One weather model shows 200mph high-altitude Atlantic jet stream winds catapulting gales and soggy conditions to Britain on the last weekend before Christmas.
The weather front could coincide with some of the busiest leisure travel days of the year – so-called “Frantic Friday” and “Panic Saturday” – as last-minute shoppers flood the high streets.
The Environment Agency warned: “Local river and surface water flooding is possible on Wednesday and Thursday in the South.
“Properties may flood and there may be travel disruption.”
The odds of snow on the big day are falling as fast as the temperatures.
Coral spokesman John Hill
Snow is also predicted to fall in Midlands and North England on December 25, as the map above indicates.
Bookies have now slashed the odds to 10/11 for anywhere in the UK to see Christmas snow – with 4/1 in Glasgow, 7/1 in Birmingham and 10/1 in London.
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Coral spokesman John Hill said: “The odds of snow on the big day are falling as fast as the temperatures.”
Recent Christmases have seen travellers stranded by bad weather just before December 25.
Storms Barbara and Conor hit with hurricane-force winds and deluges in the days before Christmas 2016, after Storm Eva struck on Christmas Eve 2015.