Frost will bring a “seasonal feel” to the UK during the festive period, but those dreaming of a truly white Christmas will be disappointed, the Met Office has said.
Temperatures across most of the country will stay in mid-single figures on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but no snow is expected to settle.
The Met Office said despite a wet start to the week, temperatures would begin to drop, and hats, coats and scarves would be needed for any household winter walks.
Tom Morgan, meteorologist at the Met Office, said the mercury could drop to -3C in parts of England and Wales on Christmas Eve morning.
Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 6C in London and the south of England on December 24 and a high of 5C on Christmas Day.
Parts of the North, including Manchester, face similarly low temperatures of 4C and 5C on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day respectively.
“It’s going to be dry for the vast majority of the UK, and it will be a cold and frosty start to the day, particularly for England and Wales,” said Mr Morgan.
“So there will be a seasonal feel in terms of white frost on the ground, but in terms of snow, we’re not anticipating any on the ground for the vast majority of the country, unfortunately.
“It’s going to be a frosty Christmas rather than a white Christmas.
“It’s a mild and wet start to the week in the south but turning much colder and sunnier for the Christmas period and I think everyone will notice that.
“Even though it’s not going to be a white Christmas, people will still need their big coats and scarves and hats etcetera for any walks they may be going on over the Christmas period.”
Mr Morgan said there may be a light covering of snow in some eastern parts of Scotland on Christmas Eve, but none is currently expected on Christmas Day.
He added that temperatures at the start of the week would be “milder than average” (around 13-14C) for the time of year, which is usually 8C or 9C.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes have, however, cut the odds of a White Christmas to 1/2 for snow anywhere in the UK on December 25.
The Met Office said flood watches were in place for southern parts of England and Wales following recent bouts of wet weather, and rainfall warnings may be necessary for the beginning of the week.
It comes after The Eden Project botanical gardens in Cornwall was closed on Sunday due to “significant flooding” on the site overnight.
A spokesman said high volumes of rainwater caused several landslips on the site but there had been no injuries to staff.
“Managers closed the site as a safety precaution and are assessing the damage,” they said, adding that the site would be closed to visitors again on Monday when a further assessment would be carried out.
Monday is expected to be cloudy and very mild across southern parts of the UK with occasional rain or drizzle, though brightness will develop to the east.
In Scotland it will be colder with showering rain and snow on the hills.
The Environment Agency has issued 11 flood warnings and 57 alerts in England today, with Natural Resources Wales putting in place three warnings and 10 alerts.
UK 4 day weather forecast
Cloudy and very mild across southern parts with occasional rain or drizzle, though brightness developing to the east of hills. Colder across Scotland with showery rain, and snow on hills.
Outlook for Tuesday to Thursday:
Mild with further rain at times. Colder further north, with a mixture of sunny spells and showers, increasingly wintry. Becoming drier and colder nationwide by Thursday with widespread frost.