When will it snow in UK in 2021? Weather forecast from Met Office - and odds of a White Christmas this year

Areas of the UK could see ‘prolonged periods’ of snow by the end of the week

The UK is set to see temperatures drop below freezing due to an icy air blast coming in from the Arctic.

According to the Met Office, we might see “prolonged periods” of snow across higher grounds in Scotland, northern England and Wales at the end of the week.

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When will it snow?

A cold snap is on the horizon for the UK, with the Met Office warning that many regions are facing freezing temperatures, and snow arriving in some places.

A Met Office spokesperson said: “We’ve got an unsettled period of weather over the next few days, with wind warnings out for Scotland and Northern Ireland to begin on Friday.

“This will extend to the whole of the UK apart from London and the South East on Saturday, with strong winds expected.

Earlier this year in February, the UK experienced large amounts of snow (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

“There is an increasing signal of snow at higher elevations, indications suggest that areas about 200m in Scotland have the highest chance from Friday.

“There may well be temporary spells in other areas across northern England and Wales, in areas like the Pennies and Snowdonia, though this is unlikely to be heavy enough to settle.”

The spokesperson added that currently, there is “no sign” of snow in lower regions in England and Wales - but they did say “never say never”.

Will it be a white Christmas?

It’s too early to tell whether it will snow on Christmas day this year - but these are the odds that betting site Paddy Power has for snow on Christmas day for various locations around the UK:

  • Birmingham, 4/1
  • Newcastle, 4/1
  • Edinburgh, 3/1
  • Belfast, 9/2
  • London, 5/1
  • Cork, 6/1
  • Leeds, 6/1
  • Dublin, 6/1
  • Liverpool, 8/1
  • Cardiff, 8/1
  • Bristol, 8/1
  • Aberdeen, 11/4

The Met Office explains that snow forecasting in the UK is so difficult because, since it’s so cold high up in the atmosphere, most precipitation begins as either snow or “supercooled” raindrops.

It can be difficult for forecasters to accurately predict if it will snow, for a number of reasons (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

As this snow, or supercooled raindrops, falls to earth, it moves through warmer air most of the time and thus melts. Depending on the temperature of the air nearest the ground determines whether we see rain, sleet or hail.

“However, the freezing level (usually the boundary at which precipitation will fall as snow rather than rain) doesn’t just stay the same every day, or even within a day, sometimes it can change hour by hour, across the country, or even a few miles down the road,” the Met Office says.

What’s the forecast for the rest of this week?

The Met Office states that this week we can expect weather which is “colder with sunny spells, but also some showers, and wintry north”.

Today, Thursday 25 November,  cloud and patchy rain in the south should soon clear, with many inland areas dry and with sunny spells. Northern Scotland and north facing coastal districts further should should be prepared for showers, with rain also moving into the northwest later.

It’s likely that it’s going to be very rainy before any hint of snowfall (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Met Office says tonight it will be “clear and frosty in the south, but clouding over later. Rain, heavy in places, moving south across northern and central parts, briefly falling as snow over hills in north”.

The outlook for Friday and across the weekend shows rain, blustery heavy showers and some snow over high ground, with severe gales into northern areas with blizzards in the Scottish mountains.

Saturday will be cold, with a mixture of “rain, sleet and snow showers, accompanied by gales” and though the weather will improve through Sunday, it will still be a “frosty start” to the day, with clouds and rain spreading in from the west.

What weather warnings are in place?

The Met Office has issued a wind yellow weather warning on Friday 26 November and Saturday 27 November.

On Friday, the Met Office says that there is “potential for a period of very strong winds to develop across northern Scotland on Friday afternoon then extend south during the evening”.

On Saturday, the weather warning extends to pretty much the entirety of the UK.

The Met Office says that you might experience:

  • Some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport
  • The slight chance of some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs
  • A small chance that some roads and bridges could close
  • The slight chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Chris Almond, said ”Gusts of wind are likely to reach 50 to 60 mph widely, with 70 to 80 mph possible in coastal locations, particularly in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

“As well as strong winds, rain will also move south across the country on Friday, with showers following turning increasingly to hill snow in the north.

“This wintry mix of showers will continue on Saturday, and although snow is possible almost anywhere away from the far-south, accumulations are likely to be confined to hills.”

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