The first major snowfall of winter is forecast over the coming days, with up to four inches possible in northern hills and sleet in the South. Looking further ahead, forecasters predicted that a White Christmas is possible this year.
Temperatures are expected to dip into minus figures from tomorrow as Britons free themselves after weeks of being cooped up indoors and prepare to hit the shops for festive gifts.
Early morning swimmers go for a dip today at Charlton Lido in Hornfair Park, South East London, on its first day of reopening
A swimmer leaves the water after an open water swim at the Serpentine Swimming Club in London’s Hyde Park today
Commuters cross London Bridge this morning following the end of England’s second national lockdown
Shoppers wait outside a JD Sports branch on Oxford Street in London before it reopens this morning after a month closed
Met Office spokesman Bonnie Diamond said snow is expected in Scotland and along the Pennines. She added: ‘Up to 10cm (4ins) of snow is expected at high levels in the Pennines and it could also fall at lower levels too.’
Snow is possible as far south as the Peak District. Elsewhere, England and Wales are expected to be wet, windy and cold.
A ground frost is likely tonight as temperatures dip as low as 1C (34F) in northern England and Wales and 2C (36F) further south. Colder air is due to sweep in from tomorrow.
Miss Diamond said further wintry conditions could arrive on Friday and Saturday, adding: ‘There’ll be rain and could be pockets of snow, especially for northern hills, and it could also turn wintry in the South West.’
Nicola Foster and Jessica Walker, known as the Lido Ladies, swim today at Charlton Lido in Hornfair Park, South East London
People queue outside a TK Maxx store in Manchester city centre this morning after the end of the second national lockdown
Queues outside Primark on Northumberland street in Newcastle city centre this morning one hour before the store opened
She added that sleet could fall in the Cotswolds and Chilterns. Night-time temperatures tomorrow and Friday could dip as low as -2C (28F) in northern England and -1C (30F) elsewhere.
Miss Diamond said: ‘It is due to be unsettled into the weekend and staying on the cold side with low pressure very much in charge. Further snow remains a possibility on high ground especially in the North.’
The weather is set to remain ‘unsettled and rather cold’ until the middle of the month.
Forecasters predict the chilly and unsettled conditions could continue as far ahead as the festive period with a potential White Christmas on the cards.
The Met Office’s long-range forecast said: ‘Snow remains most likely over the hills but could fall at lower levels at times.’ The last UK White Christmas was in 2010.