UK weather: Will it be a white Christmas this year?

Snow at Christmas may happen but it will likely be in the north of the country

Lucy Skoulding
Wednesday 14 December 2022 07:41 GMT
Snow, black ice and fog cause travel chaos across UK

The Met Office has shared its predictions for whether the UK will see a white Christmas this year.

It comes as much of the UK has seen snow over the past few days, with icy conditions across the UK causing major disruption on roads and rail networks, with many services cancelled, delayed or revised.

Temperatures plummeted to record-low levels across the country, with -17.3C recorded at Braemar, in Aberdeenshire, on Monday, making it the coldest place in the UK for the second night in a row.

The UK has seen heavy snow fall, with the capital blanketed earlier this week

The Met Office said it’s colder than usual for this time of year but said the freezing conditions were not likely to last.

A spokesperson told The Independent that snow at Christmas may happen, but it’s most likely to be in the north of the country and up high on hills.

“Temperatures will turn milder again at the weekend,” they said. “It was colder this week than it will be in the run-up to Christmas. Next week conditions are likely to be changeable with spells of rain.”

When asked about the likelihood of a white Christmas, the Met Office spokesperson said nothing could be confirmed at this stage but “if there is snow over the Christmas period, it’s likely to be in the north, especially up high”.

Snow and ice has led to school closures and travel disruption

Bookmakers are betting on the chances of the UK seeing snow at Christmas.

Coral has offered short odds, with Edinburgh Airport at 3/1 for snow on December 25, while Bet Victor has 3/1 on Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham getting a sprinkling on Christmas Day.

William Hill has put 4/1 odds on Edinburgh and Glasgow seeing snow on the big day.

The official defition of a ‘white Christmas’ has quite a low threshold

The Met Office said a white Christmas was defined as “one snowflake to be observed falling in the 24 hours of December 25 somewhere in the UK”.

In the meantime, cold weather is set to continue in the next few days, with temperatures at 8am on Wednesday predicted to be around -1C in London and -3C in Glasgow.

Warnings for snow and ice continue this week - but all coud change before Christmas Day

There are still warnings for snow, ice and strong winds across the country in place.

The Met Office tweeted: “It will be another cold start this Wednesday morning with warnings for #snow, ice and strong winds active across the UK.”

In its long-range forecast covering December 16 - 25, the Met Office stated: “Sleet and snow showers are likely to continue across the north and east, and perhaps into the southwest of the UK at the beginning of the period, although these should be mainly confined to coastal regions.

“Elsewhere it should be mostly dry, clear and often sunny further inland with light to moderate winds. Generally feeling cold to very cold, with widespread frosts overnight and a chance of freezing fog in places.”

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