Christmas weather forecast: Will we have a white Christmas?

UK weather: Met Office forecasts low temperatures

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Bing Crosby dreamed of a white Christmas, and many in the UK do too. But while temperatures are usually chilly, there isn’t often widespread snow in the UK in December. So what about 2021? Will we have a white Christmas? Just like the ones we used to know? Where treetops glisten, and children listen…

Christmas weather forecast

The Met Office is ruling out any specific predictions at this stage, saying they can only “accurately forecast if snow is likely on any given Christmas Day up to five days beforehand”.

That means we’ll have to wait until Monday to see if snow is forecast by the main British weather agency.

But they are willing to offer some insight: “It is expected to turn unsettled towards Christmas, particularly in the south, as a front approaches bringing cloud to the southwest, as well as rain and possibly wintry conditions to parts of the country.”

Other forecasters are more willing to put their stamp on a prediction of snow.

BBC weather said a light dusting and some snowy showers are possible as far south as the Cotswolds on Christmas Day.

And according to Netweather’s Jo Farrow: “With a quiet few days coming up due to high pressure being over the UK, eyes are being drawn to next week with taunts of much colder air from the east or north and even the possibility of Christmas snow.”

She added: “There are ingredients showing themselves with a chilly flow from the east or the north which gives the colder air.

“And low pressures, a more unsettled picture with rainbands, possible frontal snow and even snow showers.”

What are the odds of a white Christmas?

According to the bookies, snow is a sure thing this Christmas.

According to Ladbrokes, there is now a 1/3 shot that any part of the UK wakes up to a White Christmas, with Edinburgh being the most likely destination at 11/4.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “There’s every chance all four corners of the UK wake up to a White Christmas with the odds continuing to tumble in time for next week.”

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How likely is a white Christmas?

According to the Met Office, there is a 50-50 chance of snow on any given Christmas Day.

This is because, since 1960, around half of the years have seen at least five percent of the network record snow falling on Christmas Day.

However, the imagined scenes of thick white snow piling up outside windows is less likely, with widespread coverage only recorded four times in the UK since records began.

When was the last proper white Christmas?

The last widespread white Christmas in the UK was in 2010, with snow on the ground at 83 percent of stations, the highest amount ever recorded).

Technically, 2020 was the last white Christmas in the UK, with six percent of weather stations recording snow falling, though only four percent of stations reported any snow lying on the ground.

The Met Office said: “White Christmases were more frequent in the 18th and 19th centuries, even more so before the change of calendar in 1752 which effectively brought Christmas Day back by 12 days.

“Climate change has also brought higher average temperatures over land and sea and this generally reduced the chances of a white Christmas.”

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