UK weather: Bookies slash odds of white Christmas

At least one bookmaker has halved the odds of a white Christmas in just 24 hours as forecasters predict cold could turn rain to snow

Bookies have slashed the odds of a white Christmas, as forecasters say the recent stormy weather is set to continue.

Ladbrokes has halved the odds of snowfall on Christmas day in London in just 24 hours, from 12/1 to 6/1.

Although up until Christmas Eve forecasters believe the weather will be extremely wet, temperatures are set to drop by the time Santa comes down the chimney, meaning there is a chance the rain could turn to snow in parts of the country.

David Williams of Ladbrokes said: “We thought we'd dodged the snowball but now we're not so sure. Earlier in the week we'd all but written it off but the last 48 hours have seen the biggest snow gamble for ages.”

Coral meanwhile, which ruled out the chance of a white Christmas on Thursday, has cut its odds from 9/1 to 7/1 for snowfall in London.

Ladbrokes has also cut the odds that Edinburgh and Glasgow will see snow on Christmas Day to 5/2 and Manchester has odds of 3/1. Belfast and Dublin are both 4/1.

A snowflake has fallen on Christmas Day - the bookies definition of a white Christmas - 38 times in the last 52 years.

The idealistic vision of snow lying on the ground on Christmas Day is however much rarer - there has been a widespread covering of snow on the ground just four times in the last 51 years.