Parts of Britain can expect further snowfall from Sunday with sub-zero temperatures gripping the country.

Many awoke to a thin smattering of snow on Saturday morning, as communities in the northern part of England and Scotland ushered in December with wintry conditions and a festive dusting of the white stuff.

And forecasters say further bursts of sleet and snow are expected this weekend, as Britain prepares itself for widespread overnight frosts.

Michael Dukes, director of forecasting with MeteoGroup - the weather division of the Press Association - said heavy rainfall would likely turn to snow on Sunda evening, as temperatures plummet.

He said: "There could be several centimetres of snow on the higher ground in Scotland and northern England by the end of the weekend. We could have something like -8C tonight, and it will be cold again tomorrow."

He said a band of warm air means temperatures could peak at 11C on Monday, but that this would be "a blip", as milder conditions give way to icy cold winds.

"By Wednesday, the cold weather will have returned," he said. "There is no sign yet of widespread snow cover. But it is staying on the cold side and the longer that happens, the greater chance there is of us seeing some more snow."

Light snowfall was reported in Cumbria, Teesside and County Durham, while an inch covered the Pennines and the Southern Uplands, as temperatures struggled to peak above freezing in many places. The Met Office issued a low-level warning of severe weather, affecting much of the UK for the morning.

The white start to the month was enough to prompt record numbers of punters to place bets on snow falling on Christmas Day. According to bookmakers Ladbrokes, more money had been staked on a white Christmas by today than by any other December 1 in its history.

Around 150 alerts were in place on Saturday morning, with nearly 20 flood warnings - where the risk of flooding is expected - in the south-east of England and the Midlands. However, that number dropped to 120 by lunchtime and plateaued, and an agency spokeswoman said there was no immediate risk of further flooding as a direct result of the overnight snowfall.