Will we have a white Christmas this year? Latest snow odds for the UK
Christmas is now firmly on the horizon, and, from food to travel, many people are starting to get their plans in place.
Whether you’re organising a big celebration or something quieter, there’s one question that’s seemingly always on our lips – are we going to get a white Christmas this year?
People have been obsessed with white Christmases for decades, spurred on by idealised representations of the festive season.
Fresh talk of a white Christmas has entered the national conversation of late after the news that the UK could be set for a potential return of the infamous ‘Beast from the East.’
But before you waste all Christmas Day staring out the window waiting for that one precious flake to fall, Metro.co.uk is here to bring you the latest on whether there will actually be snow this Christmas.
What are the latest white Christmas odds in the UK?
The bookies are seemingly remaining optimistic about the chances of a white Christmas this year.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: ‘There’s every chance punters dreaming of a White Christmas will get their wish this year, if the latest odds are anything to go by.’
The company also puts the odds of snow to fall anywhere in the UK on December 25 at 6/4.
What are the latest White Christmas odds?
Their latest odds are as follows:
- Aberdeen – 4/1
- Edinburgh – 4/1
- Newcastle – 9/2
- Belfast – 5/1
- Cardiff – 5/1
- Dublin – 5/1
- Birmingham – 6/1
- Liverpool – 6/1
- Manchester – 6/1
- London – 8/1
How likely is a white Christmas?
The Met Office can accurately forecast whether snow is likely on any given Christmas Day up to five days beforehand.
Their latest long-range forecast (for December 13 – 27) currently says: ‘Confidence remains low for this period. More settled conditions are expected, with the potential for higher pressure over the UK, leading to drier weather.
‘Whilst temperatures may average out close to normal overall, colder conditions are possible at times, with a risk of overnight frost and fog higher than normal.’
Around half of the years since 1960 have seen at least 5% of the network of locations recording snow on Christmas Day.
Widespread snow is much rarer – there has only been a widespread covering of snow on the ground recorded at 40% of weather stations in the UK four times in the last 51 years: in 1981, 1995, 2009, and 2010.
What is a white Christmas?
When most people think of a white Christmas, they picture blankets of snow covering hillsides for miles around.
In fact, Christmas can be white if at least one solitary snowflake falls in a specific location during the 24 hours of Christmas day, according to the Met Office.
How will we know if it’s a white Christmas?
Traditionally the Met Office used its building in London to decide whether it had been a white Christmas.
However, as betting increased, several other locations were added to the list. These include:
- Buckingham Palace
- Belfast (Aldergrove Airport)
- Aberdeen (Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen FC)
- Edinburgh (Castle),
- Coronation Street in Manchester
- The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff
When was the last white Christmas in the UK?
Technically, 2021 was the last white Christmas in the UK with 6% of stations recording snow falling, but less than 1% of stations reported any snow lying on the ground
The last widespread white Christmas in the UK was in 2010, when 83% of weather stations recorded snow on the ground.
Perthshire, Scotland had 47cm of snow on December 25, 1981, the deepest figure ever recorded, while Gainford, Durham, had the coldest Christmas Day in 1878 at -18.3C.
According to the Met Office the UK averages 3.9 days of snow and sleet in December – although snowfall is much more likely after the festive season, with an average of 5.3 days in January.
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