Britain is braced for "reservoir of cold Arctic air" which will cause a sudden blast of wet and windy weather – and lead to increasing chances of snow for the festive period.
Forecasters say the weather is "on a knife-edge" and therefore we can’t "write off a white Christmas already".
Former BBC meteorologist John Hammond said: "I expect a greater dominance of colder weather. Mild and wet conditions are more likely to be restricted to southwestern areas. The dividing line is impossible to call, but will be crucial in terms of snowfall.
"[There’s] increasing chance of snow later in [this] period."
But Mr Hammond, who now writes his forecasts on blog weathertrending, stressed temperatures will drop in the next two weeks, particularly in the north-east of England.
"A reservoir of cold Arctic air will be building to our northeast," he added.
It’s led to odds on a white Christmas anywhere in the UK being slashed to an incredible 1-2. Coral says snow is most likely to fall in Aberdeen and Manchester on Christmas Day this year, with the cities at 5-2 and 4-1 respectively.
London is now 5-1.
John Hill, the bookies’ spokesman, said: "Punters are dreaming of a White Christmas as we have been knocked over in recent days with bets on snow to fall on the big this year,” said Coral’s John Hill.
It supports reports in Mirror Online "significant snowfall" will hit the UK in late December during the UK’s snowiest winter in 70 years.
And experts say if the mercury does indeed plunge, forecasted rain could fall as snow in some parts of the UK.
The Met Office’s long-term forecast states: "Some wet and possibly windy weather is likely in the west, with the east having generally drier weather with some fog, frost and possibly some snow showers too.
"Spells of rain and strong winds are set to spread across the British Isles from the west, although remaining most active across western and northwestern areas."
Speaking earlier this week, James Madden, of Exacta Weather, said: “After this brief interlude of milder weather there will be a quick reversal back to cold conditions accompanied by wintry weather and some notable snow showers, particularly, across the north.
“This will pave the way for a number of further snow events during the early to mid part of December, some of these could be severe enough to cause disruption.
Cold weather advice
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