White Christmas odds cut as Arctic winds bite

Arctic blasts are set to sweep the country this week, bringing up to 8in (20cm) of snow as winter tightens its grip for the season's first big chill.

Bitterly cold weather is forecast across Britain with the mercury plummeting to minus 9C (15.8F) in northern Scotland while maximum temperatures in the capital are unlikely to rise above 2C (36F).



Many regions have been warned to expect snow flurries as the cold weather takes hold.



But while freezing temperatures are set to last well into next week, forecasters suggested the biting conditions could abate later in the season.



Overall, the UK could see a milder winter owing to a particularly strong La Nina episode in the Pacific.



The cooling of the tropical seas has been known to affect weather patterns across the globe and might mean a warmer than average start to the new year.



Aisling Creevey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said overnight temperatures would remain below freezing this week, hitting their lowest point at the weekend.



"It is going to be cold, cold, cold. Temperatures are dropping to below average everywhere and will struggle to rise during the day," she said.



"A northerly wind will bring wintery showers and snow, particularly to Scotland and coastal areas, and by Wednesday we will really be able to feel the difference across the country."



The lowest temperature is expected to be recorded in Aberdeenshire (minus 9C) while London will be spared the harshest weather with lows of minus 2C overnight and highs of 2C during the day.



The heaviest snowfalls are likely to be seen in north-east Scotland while Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and East Anglia could see "significant snow accumulations".



Those in the capital and eastern parts of the country were also warned to brace themselves as Arctic winds blow over.



But though forecasters said it was still too early to predict a white Christmas, bookmakers Coral have begun to slash their odds.



Aberdeen is now the 3-1 favourite (from 4-1), while the odds in Edinburgh have fallen to 5-1 (from 6-1), and are at 7-1 in London and Cardiff, where they previously stood at 8-1.



Forecaster Stephen Davenport said: "My feeling is that we are looking at a colder than average first half of the winter and the second half could be less cold."



But he said there were "too many conflicting signals" to be certain about the precise conditions for the season ahead.



"The La Nina episode is fairly strong but quite where it's going is another matter," he added.



"Very generally, 70% of strong La Nina events are associated with temperatures of a little above average."



Bookmaker Paddy Power has cut its odds on a white Christmas in London from 7/2 to 5/2.



Punters were also being quoted odds of 4/7 that the mercury would not dip below last year's low of minus 22C, and 11/8 that the UK suffers another salt shortage.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence