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Get out your Santa suits and daggy Christmas jumpers - weather forecasters are predicting a cold, wet Christmas for much of the country.

Australia is already in the midst of one the coldest starts to summer in decades and conditions show only faint signs of improving before December 25.

Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart can all expect an overcast Christmas with temperatures as low as 11 degrees and barely able to crack the mid-twenties.

Brisbane and Darwin are likely to escape the chilly conditions - but will have to deal with rain instead.

Only Adelaide and Perth will escape a grey Christmas – both can expect sunny conditions with temperatures in the high twenties.

The gloomy forecast comes off the back of a poor start to summer.

Sydney is suffering through its coldest start to summer in over 50 years; while Perth had its wettest December day in 28 years and Brisbane recorded its coldest December day in 123 years last week.

All of this came off the back of one of the nation's wettest Novembers on record.

The Weather Channel's Tom Saunders says a combination of southerly winds and thick cloud cover is causing the chilly conditions on the east coast, and things aren’t likely to let up soon.

"It is going to stay cool this week. Sydney won’t hit anything above 25 degree for the next seven days and Canberra will have similar temperatures."

"It's also a very wet lead up to Christmas for many parts of the country. Perth picked up more than 40mm overnight. Later in the week we’re expecting heavy rain in South Australia on Saturday, that will move east into Victoria and NSW on Sunday and Monday."

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