Freezing temperatures for Christmas

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Much of Britain is expected to escape fresh snowfall today, giving only a small part of the country a traditional White Christmas.

Forecasters said parts of Scotland and possibly north-east England were the only places likely to have snow falling on Christmas Day.

The mercury is set to remain at around freezing, with most places due to see bitterly cold but dry conditions.

Daytime temperatures in parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire are not predicted to rise above -6C, with night-time temperatures into Boxing Day potentially falling to as low as -20C in some isolated spots.

Gareth Harvey, a weather forecaster, said: "There could be a few light wintry showers in parts of Scotland and one or two snow showers in north east parts of England.

"Generally it will be dry, with not much snow around. There is still quite a bit of lying snow from the past week, but it doesn't qualify as a White Christmas unless it is falling snow. It is good news for betting companies."

Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing on Boxing Day with spells of rain, sleet and snow in northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of west Wales and far west England, spreading eastwards overnight.

With the icy weather set to continue, the UK could be heading for its coldest December since 1890.

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