FORECASTERS at the Met Office have warned of possible "heavy and prolonged" snow in parts of the UK next week.

The weather agency has updated its long-range forecast up until Christmas Eve as a cold snap continues.

As things stand, no snow is expected for Bradford between today and Saturday - but the forecast is, of course, subject to change.

Towards the end of next week, temperatures will struggle to get above 3C in Bradford during the day.

Looking at the period between Thursday and December 9 for the whole of the country, a Met Office spokesperson said: "Outbreaks of rain and some hill snow are likely to spread across parts of England and Wales during Thursday.

"This could be heavy and prolonged in places, before it begins to fade and clear away again to the south during Friday.

"Further north, a mixture of sunny spells and wintry showers on Thursday and Friday, the showers most frequent near coasts.

"Over the weekend and into the following week, cold conditions and northerly winds are expected across the bulk of the UK.

"Showers will develop, these a mixture of rain, sleet and, at times, snow, with the most frequent showers across coastal districts in the north and east.

"Some inland areas, especially in the south, could be mainly dry and bright."

For the period of December 10 to Christmas Eve, the spokesperson said: "After a cold spell leading up to it, the most likely trend through this period is for a return to milder, more changeable weather.

"Wetter and windier than average conditions are slightly more likely than normal, especially in the west and northwest.

"Temperatures are most likely to be near or above average overall, although this doesn't rule out some spells of cold weather and associated wintry hazards."