UK gets a sprinkling of snow

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The Independent Online

A sprinkling of snow fell on the capital today after a bitterly cold night.

Shoppers and office workers in the centre of London were confronted with the sight of snowflakes descending from the sky, although the early flurries were not thick enough to settle on the ground.

Forecasters said the sleet and snow would turn to rain later.

Victoria Kettley, from MeteoGroup UK, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It's just a fine dusting. We're not expecting any problems on the roads."

No weather-related problems were immediately reported on London's transport network.

Temperatures dropped to minus 6C in some rural areas overnight, and forecasters warned that some parts of south-east England could see 1-2cm of snow fall today.

Tonight will also be cold although increased cloud cover will prevent temperatures falling as low.

More snow flurries are expected in central and eastern areas of the UK tomorrow with rural parts of Kent and East Anglia the most likely locations for a snowball fight.

More snow is expected later this week with many areas seeing a dusting of flakes by Saturday night.

Bookies responded to the latest forecasts by cutting the odds of London experiencing a white Christmas from 8/1 to 5/2.

William Hill said it would have to pay out millions of pounds if there is a blanket of snow across the country on 25 December.

One gambler from Derbyshire stands to collect over £14,000 if it snows on Christmas Day.

Rupert Adams, spokesman for William Hill, said: "The million pound snow flake is something that we have always talked about in hushed tones and for the first time this millennium it looks like we could get collared.

"There is unlikely to be much festive cheer in our office this year."