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UK Weather: White Christmas Forecast 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 16:25 GMT -

Christmas 2014 is nearly here and although most of the UK will have a green one this year, a few of us could see a few flakes of snow.

Although this week has started off very mild, particularly across England and Wales, temperatures are set to drop in time for Christmas, meaning at least some parts of the UK could see some snow on the 25th.

RELATED: Detailed Christmas Week Forecast

Christmas Day morning will start off frosty in many places, particularly in the north with temperatures perhaps as low as -6C in places.

Through the day, much of the country will stay dry and fine with largely clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine.

However, there will be a scattering of showers across northern and eastern Scotland, north-east England, Northern Ireland and around Irish Sea coasts.

These will be wintry at times, mainly over the high ground, but a few flakes of snow could make it down to lower levels at times.

So, while any settling snow will be confined to the Highlands of Scotland and perhaps the hills in northern England, an official White Christmas is possible at lower levels.

The showers will die out through the afternoon as a ridge of high pressure builds in from the west, but a few many longer down North Sea coasts.

Forecast chance of seeing snow falling during the 24hrs of Christmas Day

Forecast chance of seeing snow falling during the 24hrs of Christmas Day

What is a white Christmas?

For the general public, a white Christmas is when there is a complete covering of snow on the ground during the 25th December.

However, the official definition used by the Met Office and for those taking bets, is for one flake of snow to fall between midnight Christmas Day and midnight Boxing Day at a particular location.

Therefore, the snow doesn’t even have to settle for an official White Christmas.

How common are White Christmases in the UK?

Many Christmas cards, songs and films depict a white Christmas, but in fact, snow on the big day itself is fairly uncommon.

Snow more typically falls during the months of January, February and early March with snow more likely at Easter than Christmas.

The probability of seeing a white Christmas varies with altitude and latitude, with uplands areas of Scotland and northern England much more likely to see snow compared to lowland southern Britain.

Edinburgh and Belfast typically see a white Christmas once every 5 years, while London and Cardiff only see one white Christmas every ten years on average.

Historical probability of seeing a white Christmas, based on data from the last 50 years.

Historical probability of seeing a white Christmas, based on data from the last 50 years.

When was the last White Christmas in the UK?

Christmas 2010 was the last white one in the UK with 83% of weather stations in the country reporting snow on the ground, the highest on record according to the Met Office.

However, the strict definition of a white Christmas (snow falling) was only met at 19% of weather stations in the country.

We will be updating this forecast on a regular basis right up to Christmas Day.

From everyone at The Weather Network UK, Merry Christmas!

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