• Snow fell in the South and the West Country overnight, including in Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Devon
  • Heavy rain in parts of the South-East and East Anglia has led to flood warnings
  • Tomorrow will be the coldest Bonfire Night since daily records began 14 years ago
  • People have flocked to bet on a white Christmas; Ladbrokes have already slashed the odds
  • snow UK
    © SWNSRolling hills: The Met Office reported 'heavy snow' in places as up to an inch of snow settled by morning on higher ground in Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Devon.
    Your calendar may say November... but the weather seems to think otherwise.

    Blizzards swirled across the North East and snow blanketed parts of the West Country yesterday.

    A light scattering of snow was reported in Gloucestershire, an inch fell in Dorset, and up to six inches fell in Somerset in Bath, Frome, Midsomer Norton and the Mendip Hills, after temperatures plummeted on Saturday night.

    snow UK
    © SWNS.comWinter's arrived: The snowfall was England's fifth in nine days amid an early winter - after snow in the East last Saturday, in the West on Thursday and the North on Friday and Saturday.

    The freeze, which hadn't been forecast in the West Country, took drivers - and gritters - by surprise. Several vehicles became stuck in snow and buses and trains were suspended.

    Liz Burt, 54, from Sherborne, Dorset,woke up to the wintery scene and grabbed her camera to take a picture of the unusual weather.

    She said: 'I drew back the curtains this morning and really wasn't expecting to see snow coming down so thick and fast.

    'It looked like a beautiful Christmas image, almost like a postcard, but I couldn't believe it was happening so early.

    'I was planning on going down to my allotment and planting my broad beans and onions for next spring but the ground is just too slushy to do that now.

    snow UK
    © BNPSLight smattering: Residents in parts of Dorset woke today to a dusting of snow, as temperatures plummeted to 1 degree last night. Seen in the distance are the Rampisham Communications Masts.
    'It looks like I'll have to put the log fire on and read the papers instead.'

    In the North East, a blizzard battered Crookburn Bridge, on the County Durham and Cumbria border, and thick fog descended around Sunderland, making driving conditions very difficult.

    Charlie Powell, forecaster at the Met Office said: 'It has been incredibly cold recently and the snow was caused by an area of low pressure coming in from the North West.

    'As it moved through the south the temperatures dropped to low single figures causing a small handful of places to have snow overnight.

    'It came down fast but it isn't set to last.'

    snow UK
    © BNPS.co.ukCrisp: The sudden snow fall has led to people flocking to place bets on a white winter (pictured here is the A37 near Sherborne, Dorset, which was deserted this morning).
    Where snow didn't fall in the South, torrential rain struck instead. Some 4in fell on Saturday night in Plymouth.

    There was heavy rain in the South-East and East Anglia sparking flood warnings while experts announced tomorrow will be the coldest Bonfire Night in 14 years.

    Meanwhile, Longleat Forest Center Parcs, Wiltshire, looked more like Lapland as half-term holidaymakers awoke to snow-coated pine trees.

    Buses and train were suspended, while Wiltshire police confirmed that several vehicles had become stuck in snow near Bradford-on-Avon.

    Gritting teams were sent out by Bath and North East Somerset Council, who said they had been caught unaware because no snow was forecast.

    Kelvin Packer from the council said two teams had been sent out to grit the 'slush' roads. He said: 'Unfortunately the snow came down immediately off the back of a band of rain and with everything being so wet it's just sat on the roads as slush.

    snow UK
    © North News & Pictures LtdFoolhardy: A man walks his dog through blizzard conditions near Crookburn Bridge, Cumbria, as areas of the UK - including the South and the West Country - deal with heavy snowfall.
    snow UK
    © SWNSSlushy conditions: Up to six inches of snow was reported in areas including Bath, Frome, Midsomer Norton and the Medips - leaving motorists to battle against the dreaded slush.
    'When its raining heavily we can't go out gritting because the salt just washes straight off the road and it normally takes us about three hours to salt 260 miles of road.'

    First Great Western said train routes between Swindon, Wilts., and Gloucester had to be replaced by buses due to flooding near Kemble.

    Several bus services run by First Bristol in Bath and Wells, Somerset, were cancelled because of the snow.

    The snowfall was England's fifth in nine days amid an early winter - after snow in the East last Saturday, in the West on Thursday and the North on Friday and Saturday.

    If it isn't snowing in the south it is likely to be raining with up to 40mm of rain due to fall today. The Met Office said most of the South had 15-25mm of rain between 3am and 9am Sunday. Bournemouth had 28mm - 10 days' worth in six hours. Parts of the South-East and East Anglia are predicted to have 10 hours' constant rain today.

    snow UK
    © SWNS.comEerie: As the south of England experience their first proper snow fall of the winter, forecasters predicted the coldest bonfire night in 14 years.
    snow UK
    © SWNSSafety efforts: A snow plough makes its way along the A46 near Bath, Somerset.
    snow UK
    © SWNS.comThumbs up: Twitter user janieg3 tweeted: 'Winter wonderland in Bath - but winter nightmare on roads'; another driver gives the camera a thumbs up...
    The Environment Agency issued two flood warnings and 28 alerts, warning of possible 'localised flooding affecting land, roads and properties.'

    The Met Office reported gale-force 55mph-plus wind gusts in the South-East. Netweather warned of tornadoes.

    Three spectacular rescues took place on Snowdonia peaks in a weather cocktail which included spectacular lightning, snow, hail and lashing rain yesterday.

    All three were in darkness, with volunteers from Ogwen mountain rescue team playing the leading role.

    flood UK
    © LIVEPIXWarnings: After heavy rainfall throughout the early morning the Met Office have issued flood warning in the South-East and East Anglia. Pictured here is today's flooding in Belmont, Surrey.
    flood UK
    © LIVEPIXFlooding: The Environment Agency issued two flood warnings and 28 alerts, warning of possible 'localised flooding affecting land, roads and properties'.
    snow UK
    © SWNSWinter's underway: Ice and frost hit as temperatures plunged to -5.6C last night at Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, with -4.3C Redesdale Camp, Northumberland, and -0.9C at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, early today.
    In the first, two men from Essex, aged 60 and 40, were brought down to safety from Cwm Idwal after they wandered on to a dangerous rock face when their path down was obliterated by snow.

    'Wisely they dialled 999 when they discovered a lot of fresh air beneath them,' said Chris Lloyd of the rescue team today.

    Just after this had been completed members of the team and also of the RAF Valley team went to the aid of a 19 year old girl from Liverpool university who had injured her ankle while descending from the Glyder range near Bethesda.

    She was brought down then received hospital treatment at Bangor.

    Finally four of her male colleagues, all aged 20, were saved after finding holds covered with snow when on a classic rock climb on 3,000ft Tryfan and enduring some unnerving slips. Weather deteriorated and there was vivid lightning, which prevented an RAF Sea King based at Valley in Anglesey from reaching the scene.

    However the aircraft managed to get there during a later lull, and all four were winched off, members of the rescue team making their own way down the mountain. 'There was some outstanding flying,' said Mr Lloyd.

    Those saved from the mountains were able to recover with the aid of hot tea, soup, pizzas and a pastie back at the Ogwen team's base in the valley.

    Ice and frost hit as temperatures plunged to -5.6C last night at Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, with -4.3C Redesdale Camp, Northumberland, and -0.9C at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, early today.

    Fireworks fans were warned to wrap up warm as tomorrow will be the coldest November 5 since daily temperature records began in 1999, Met Office data passed to Reading University meteorology expert Dr Roger Brugge showed.

    Every November 5 since 1999 had reached at least 13C. Last year saw 15C, and 2010 hit 18.4C.

    But the Met Office forecast highs tomorrow of just 8-9C in the South and 4C in central Scotland - dropping several degrees in the evening and feeling near-freezing due to bitter northerly breezes.

    frost UK
    © John Giles/PA WireBucolic Autumnal colors, a frosty field and wild deer created a beautiful scene this morning.
    The Weather Channel said temperatures are up to 5C below normal.

    The Met Office forecast showers Monday, worst in the East, with rain in the North Tuesday, a gloomy, gale-hit but milder Wednesday and a showery Thursday.

    More snow is due on higher ground in the North by Friday, with mainly below-average temperatures expected for the whole of November.

    Hurricane Sandy boosted Britain's early winter chill by strengthening mid-Atlantic high pressure blocking mild south-westerly winds as Arctic air from Greenland plunges south instead, MeteoGroup and The Weather Channel said.

    Met Office forecaster Dan Williams said: 'It feels rather cold, with day and night temperatures slightly below average, frost in places and an ice risk locally in England but mainly for Scotland.

    'Our north-westerly flow is coming from Greenland and windchill is making temperatures feel colder.

    'Unsettled is the best way to describe the next week - with showers and rain with a risk of snow over higher ground in the north going into the weekend, with widespread UK frosts.

    'It will be generally windy, with the risk of gales in exposed areas, and temperatures largely below average for the next 30 days.'

    The wintery weather also affected hundreds of people taking part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run today.

    In lashing rain, over 500 pre-1905 vehicles made their way on the historic 60-mile run from Hyde Park in London to coastal Brighton in southern England, in the world's longest running motoring celebration spanning 116 years.

    All vehicles must be driven at an average speed of no more than 20mph and, in case of breakdowns, outside assistance is only permitted at designated locations.

    Are we headed for a White Christmas?

    The odds of a White Christmas in the UK have already been cut by Ladbrokes.

    As a blanket of snow covered the West of England optimistic punters have already piled into the chances of it happening over the festive period and the firm have reacted by slashing the odds of a White Christmas in Manchester (7/2) and Cardiff (4/1), as well as in the capital to 7/2.

    North of the border remains the most likely place of snow landing, with Edinburgh the 3/1 favourite to wake up on December 25th twinkling in white.

    Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: 'The nation would love a White Christmas and the early snowfall this weekend has prompted them to part ways with their cash in hope it makes a reappearance in seven weeks time.'

    Ladbrokes latest betting:

    Will there be snow on Christmas Day?

    Edinburgh 3/1
    London 7/2
    Manchester 7/2
    Belfast 4/1
    Birmingham 4/1
    Cardiff 4/1