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Chilly weather expected for holiday

Barbecues and beach trips will be off the agenda this bank holiday as sub-zero temperatures and even some snow are set to keep people at home.

The mercury plummeted to minus 4C in Scotland overnight while the rest of the UK is experiencing lower than average readings which are predicted to last until Monday.

Cloud is set to hang over the southern parts of Britain over the course of the weekend with wintry snow and sleet showers falling in the North.

The dismal outlook for the long weekend follows weeks of wet weather that brought floods to widespread areas of Britain.

Officials at the Environment Agency (EA) have warned that many roads and fields are still under water.

An EA spokesman said: "We continuing to keep a close watch on river levels as well as checking defences and clearing any potential blockages to reduce the risk of flooding. There is still a lot of flood water around and the Environment Agency is urging people to keep away from swollen rivers, and not attempt to walk or drive through them."

Tourist resorts said they did not have high hopes for takings over the weekend, while the AA predicted many would stay at home due to the recent "foul" weather.

MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, predicted a chilly holiday. Forecaster Billy Payne said the mercury will be dipping close to, or just below, zero on Saturday night in most parts of the UK, with a widespread frost setting in during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Daytime temperatures are expected to climb no higher than 12C over the next two days, with areas in the North East dropping to 5C. Monday is expected to be slightly milder but low pressure is forecast to bring rain from the West.

The South West in particular could see heavy downpours, it was predicted - spelling bad news for ice-cream vendors and good news for DIY stores. Eleven flood warnings and 53 flood alerts remained in place on the Environment Agency website.