Published on 1 Dec 2012 Sections ,

Snow falls in UK as winter freeze arrives

Snow falls in parts of northern England and southern Scotland as two of the country’s ski resorts open for the first time this winter.

The Lecht ski resort in Scotland.

A light flurry of snow fell on County Durham, Teesside, Cumbria and parts of southern Scotland.

The temperature dropped to -7C in Shap, Cumbria with ice and fog causing hazardous driving conditions across much of the UK.

The AA’s Andy Smith said: “This weekend will be winter’s first serious test for drivers and their cars.

“Ice is the real concern, as it’s been so wet recently, and it’s very hard to distinguish between a puddle on the road and treacherous black ice.”

It’s the first day we’ve opened this year and last season wasn’t so great so this has been a boost. Annette McIntosh, Lecht ski centre

He warned motorists to keep their speed down, leave adequate travel time for journeys, and to conduct basic checks to ensure the vehicle is in proper working order.

Channel 4 News weather presenter Liam Dutton says the wintry weather in set to continue on Sunday: “Frost, fog and ice will once again plague the first part of the day. Temporarily, there’ll be some sunshine, but a band of rain will start to spread in from the west on a freshening breeze.

“This means that most places will turn wet during the day, with some snow likely for the hills of Scotland and northern England, as the rain bumps into the leftovers of colder air.”

Read more from Liam Dutton: Wintry hazards this weekend

Start of Scotland’s ski season

Two of Scotland’s snow centres, Cairngorm Mountain and the Lecht, have opened runs to skiers and snowboarders.

The Lecht’s Annette McIntosh told Channel 4 News that conditions on the mountain were “really nice” but there had been snow showers earlier in the morning.

She added: “It’s the first day we’ve opened this year and last season wasn’t so great so this has been a boost.”

The light covering of snow in pockets of the UK has already prompted a flurry of bets on a white Christmas.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes said more money had been staked by today on the festive forecast than any 1st December previously.

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