Freezing conditions for New Year

The nation's gritters will be out in force preparing the roads for New Year's Eve, with forecasters warning that night-time temperatures will plunge below zero in many places.

Sub-zero temperatures are forecast in most areas, with Edinburgh, Northern England and Wales expected to see lows of minus 5C and the rest of the country experiencing temperatures of between minus 1C and 0C.

Claire Austin, forecaster with MeteoGroup UK, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It is going to be quite cold in most places but the good news is that it is staying dry and winds are going to be generally light."

She added that it was unlikely there would be any let up in the cold weather for the first day of 2009.

"Central and eastern areas will see lots of cloud but western regions, such as Western Scotland and Wales, will see the best of the bright sunny weather," she said.

"It will be a little bit milder in the East but still temperatures are unlikely to get above 4-5C anywhere.

"It is still looking like it is going to stay pretty cold over the next couple of days with weekend temperatures of around 2-3C and minus figures overnight."

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