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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Reanna Smith

White Christmas chances for every British region this year as weather turns wintry

With less than a month until Christmas, the festive season is well underway as people across the country begin making their plans for the big day.

For many, the thought of Christmas goes hand-in-hand with snow; from classic Christmas films to traditional songs, the idea of a white Christmas has been well and truly established as a key element of the festive period.

However, warmer winters in recent years meant that those dreaming of a white Christmas can often be left disappointed.

The Met Office's first forecast for Christmas Day, published last week, forecasted "settled and relatively dry weather " and higher chances than usual for "spells of wintry precipitation".

But with no mention of snow in its long-range forecast, many are still eager to find the chances of a white Christmas.

Global Meteorologist Jim Dale predicted that due to the extremely warm weather we experienced earlier this year, there's a higher chance of a rainy Christmas than a white one.

But all hope is not lost, as the weather expert revealed that some regions of the UK do have a chance of seeing some festive snowfall.

Which UK region is the most likely to have a white Christmas?

Glasgow has good chances of a white Christmas (Getty Images)

According to the Wettest Regions Study by WhichBingo, highland destinations including Skye, Inverness and Glencoe are among the most likely to see snow this winter, but Jim pointed to a number of regions that have a decent chance.

Coming in at the top of Jim's list for areas that are most likely to experience snow this Christmas is Glasgow, he said: “A festive northern favourite. Particularly in a north-westerly airstream. Surrounded by hills and in the distance mountains, this one is the pick of the bunch."

He estimated that the city has a 30 per cent chance of snow on Christmas Day, as well as a 40 per cent chance of snow across the festive period.

Another Scottish city comes in at a close second, with Jim giving Edinburgh a 40 per cent expectation of snow around the Christmas period and a 25 per cent chance of "a flake or more" on Christmas Day.

He added: "A northerly, north-easterly or easterly wind flow will do this City no harm in the snow stakes. Second only to Glasgow in the pecking order given its northern latitude and helpful higher surrounding ground."

Lancashire could also see some festive snow (Getty Images)

But it's not just Scotland that has a chance of a white Christmas this year, with potential snowfall in many other regions too.

Lancashire and the North West have a "25-35 per cent festive period snow risk" as well as a "15-25 per cent white Christmas opportunity, even if it is just a single wet flake", according to Jim.

He said: “Areas in and around the Cumbrian mountains & the Pennines tend to do the best for snow, less so nearer to the coastal fringes. Wintry showers within a north-westerly airflow provide the best snow opportunities".

Similarly, Yorkshire also has decent chances. He added: "Akin the Lancashire, the high ground of the Pennines is the most likely area to see a festive snowy period, though a wind from the northeast or east wind can be just as helpful to the East Riding region, with snow showers riding in off the helpful North Sea."

The meteorologist predicted a 30-35 per cent chance of festive snow in the region and a 15-25 per cent chance of a white Christmas.

Which region is the least likely to have a white Christmas?

It doesn't take much for a 'white Christmas' to occur (Getty Images)

While several areas across the UK have hope of a white Christmas this year, others are likely to be more unfortunate.

Jim revealed that the region least likely to experience some festive snowfall is Merseyside, he explained: “Possibly the lowest ranking region for the threat or chance of snow from this contingent. Low-lying and snuggling up to the Irish Sea makes snow chances a little more remote, though wintry showers in a northwest airstream statistically provide the best hope".

He gave the North West region just a 20 per cent chance of festive snow and a 15 per cent chance of snow on Christmas Day.

The West Midlands also has lower chances than other areas, with a 25 per cent chance of festive snow and just an 18 per cent chance of a "single flake or more" on Christmas Day.

Jim said: “Sitting deceptively high for the most part and very much land-locked, this region can become as cold as any on the list. The height and potential cold assist when it comes to the chances of snow events, but its more southerly latitude plays against it."

What are the chances of a white Christmas this year?

The last widespread snow on Christmas Day was in 2010 (Getty Images)

Technically, the chances of a white Christmas are usually pretty high. This is because the Met Office defines a white Christmas as just one single snowflake falling in the 24 hours of 25 December anywhere in the UK.

It predicted more than half of all Christmas Days to be classed as a 'white Christmas', and the last one was in 2021, with six per cent of stations recording snow falling.

However, fewer than one per cent of stations reported snow actually lying on the ground on Christmas Day last year.

The blankets of widespread snow that most people picture in their heads when they hear the phrase white Christmas are actually much rarer, with 2010 being the last time that there was a widespread snow on Christmas in the UK.

According to Jim, the hot weather we experienced this summer could result in less predictable weather this winter.

He said that widespread snow is more likely to come in “fits and starts" in January and February rather than December, adding that “dry summers can and often will lead to wetter autumn and winters,” meaning we could be in for a rainy Christmas, not a white one.

But if temperatures fall then this increased chance of rain could lead to snow, with the heaviest snowfall occurring when the air temperature is between 0-2°C.

The Met Office said that it can "only accurately forecast if snow is likely on any given Christmas Day up to five days beforehand", but the forecaster has already predicted snow for some areas of the UK in the upcoming days as we enter December.

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