SWIMMERS have braved icy waters this morning for a Christmas dip – as much of the country was blighted by freezing fog.
Visibility in some spots was down to 50m, as the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning until later this morning.
It said fog or freezing fog patches which could be dense in places were expected from the South West to the East Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber.
Despite the warning, Brits still managed to leap into chilly water with traditional swims in London and Brighton.
Although cold in the water, it is set to be quite a mild Christmas Day with temperatures rising to about 9C in London and 7C or 8C in urban areas.
But colder temperatures are expected on the east coast of about 4C or 5C.
The Met Office said: “Not everywhere will see fog, but where it does form, the visibility may fall to around 50 metres at times.
“Fog will tend to thin and lift in western and some central areas of England overnight, but will be slow to clear on Christmas Day in the east, perhaps persisting for much or all of the day in parts of eastern England.”
Temperatures will start as low as -4C, or even below in parts of Scotland.
But in the south west temperatures will kick off from 10C, with some sunny spells offering about 12C.
Most of the country will be covered in thick fog, although there will be relatively clear skies in the north east, and that’s where it will be coldest.
Christmas Day night will see thicker fog, wet weather in the far north west into Boxing Day, with seasonal drivers warned of hazardous conditions.
Swimmers take to the icy waters of the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park[/caption]
Drivers faced a foggy morning as a weather warning was issued[/caption]
The brave souls gamely leapt into the chilly water on the Brighton coast this morning[/caption]
Dozens of people made a splash in the Serpentine this morning to celebrate Christmas Day[/caption]
This morning will see drizzling rain start in western Scotland, before moving to northern England.
The Met office warn there are 17 flood alerts are in place across England and Wales with a “danger to life” fog warning.
Heavy rain has caused streams to swell across England and Wales.
The Met Office’s weather warning was due to end at 11am.
Sarah Kent meteorologist at the Met Office, said last night: “We are expecting fog to redevelop pretty much after sunset.
“With long nights it means fog can become thick leading to some pretty challenging drive conditions if people are travelling through the evening or tomorrow morning as they join friends and family for Christmas lunch.
“It’s going to be a cold one this evening so they’ll be freezing fog across central England, the west and then up into the north east of the country.
“The fog will start to thin tomorrow morning and lift away, but there could be some pockets persisting.”
She added: “In the south west of the of the country its going to cloudy with drizzle – while in the north, towards places Like Liverpool and then onto Aberdeen in Scotland, temperatures will be staying balmy at around 8C.”
Boxing Day should be largely dry but with often cloudy skies. There will be brighter spells possible, but most likely in northeast England and eastern Scotland.
The rest of the week is expected to be wet and windy at times in the north, and largely dry and cloudy in the south with more fog at times.
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Despite roads being busy, the RAC said on Monday conditions on Christmas Eve had been “pretty smooth” with no major problems reported.
Main motorways did see some delays but traffic was generally good, despite an additional two-and-a-half million vehicles on the road.
A RAC spokesman said: “Some areas have been busy around town centres today due to last-minute shopping, but it’s mostly local congestion.”
Highways England lifted more than 200 miles of roadworks on the country’s motorways and major A-roads on Friday to ensure more than 97 per cent of its network is open.
As usual, there are no trains on Christmas Day and only a limited service will run on Boxing Day.
But some of Network Rail’s 330 Christmas engineering projects have already begun, forcing a number of lines to be closed.
These include no services between London Victoria – the UK’s second busiest station – and Clapham Junction until January 2 due to track renewal.
Crossrail work means there are no trains operating to or from London Paddington on December 30, with a reduced service on December 27, 28, 29 and 31 which could cause problems for airline passengers using Heathrow Airport.
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