What are the chances of snow in the UK on Christmas Day?

As we enter the festive season, all we can think about is cosy nights by the fire, Christmas shopping and whether we’ll be blessed with a white sheet of snow on the ground on the big day.

In an attempt to answer that last question, Met Office has revealed what conditions you are most likely to experience throughout this festive time of the year.

According to Met Office standards, a Christmas is “White” as long as a single snowflake falls during the 24 hours of Christmas Day.

Their current forecast for the period of December 17 to 31, says: “A more changeable spell is expected during this period, with the greatest potential for heavy rain in the south and east at first, with any snow becoming confined to northern hills.”

Meanwhile, the willIgetawhitechristmas.com website is showing a 25% chance of snow in London.

Which region has the best chance of snow on Christmas Day?

And the region that comes top is Scotland, with a total of eleven white Christmases. Given the data spans 25 years, recent history tells us that Scottish residents stand a whopping 50% chance of waking up to a winter wonderland upon Christmas Day.

Where has the most snow fallen throughout the festive period over the past 25 years?

On Christmas day in 1995,43 centimetres of snow was recorded that remained settled until January 1st 1996. Based on the average height of an adult, at that depth, the snow would have come up to your knee!

According to the Met Office: “We are more likely to see snow between January and March than in December, with snow or sleet falling on average 3.9 days in December, compared to 5.4 days in January, 5.6 days in February and 4.2 days in March”.

Historic data also shows that 38 of 54 UK Christmases have been white, so perhaps we’re in with some luck!

Steven Davey, Industry and Infrastructure Manager at the Met Office said:

“We were delighted to help with Barratt Homes’ fun Christmas campaign that celebrates the positive side of snowfall in the UK. While we know in the UK that weather history isn’t a great way of predicting the weather future, we’re pleased our historical data can give people a nostalgic trip down memory lane to Christmases of the recent past. The Met Office provides trusted forecasts to the public as well as sector specific forecasts to UK industry to mitigate the effects of the weather. If one was looking for a forecast I would firstly point them in the direction of the Met Office website and app for more information.”

What are the actual odds? 

Leading bookmakers are offering 4-1 odds of it snowing in Edinburgh on Christmas Day.

It’s 4-1 for snow to fall in Glasgow, 6-1 in Liverpool, Nottingham and Belfast and 7-1 in Birmingham.

The odds are slightly less in favour of snow in Bristol, with 8-1 odds, followed by London, Cardiff and Plymouth, with odds of 10-1.