Heavy snowfall and northerly gale-force winds are expected throughout the country today, with a sharp drop in temperatures. But the weather bureau is not promising a white Christmas just yet, as temperatures are expected to rise again by the end of the week. Municipal and prefectural authorities have been put on heightened alert in response to forecasts that the icy conditions that swept through northern Greece last night are to spread to the rest of the country today, with snowfall even likely in the center of Athens. Tomorrow the unstable weather should be restricted to the eastern Aegean, the Cyclades, Crete and the Dodecanese, but winds of up to 9 Beaufort will continue to blow across the rest of the country and temperatures will remain low. Warmer weather is expected to return later in the week, with scattered showers over the weekend.