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

As Christmas approaches, the Met Office says that there is a chance of snow hitting the UK

The UK could be set to see some snow in the coming days, with the most set to “experience an unsettled Christmas” according to the Met Office.

This is what you need to know.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

When will it snow?

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings as an initial band of rain pushes colder air into Scotland, bringing forth a wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow over the high ground with up to 5cm of snow accumulating over 400-500m in elevation.

“However, some of this may fall as freezing rain, which would bring an ice risk to the Southern Uplands this afternoon and then the Highlands this evening and overnight. A Yellow warning for Ice has been issued for these regions from 14:00 Wednesday to 04:00 Thursday morning,” the Met Office says.

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

It continues: “Christmas Day will see continued rain across Wales as well as central and southern England.

“Further north, where the boundary between milder and colder air is, there is a chance of some snow, primarily over high ground. This exact location is still uncertain, however, Pennine areas and then the Southern Uplands later are the most likely to see snow.

“Further north, in the cold air, skies will be clearer with sunshine and lower daytime temperatures.”

Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Chris Bulmer, said: “The Christmas period will be a fairly unsettled spell across the UK this year. Many will see wet and cloudy conditions as mild air dominates over the south and west of the UK.

“Where this mild air meets colder air trying to sink south there is a chance of some Christmas snow, this looking most likely over the Pennines, however exactly where this boundary will be is still uncertain.

“In the far north cold conditions and clearer skies will bring a more wintry feel. For many areas a brisk easterly wind will bring a notable wind chill.”

Will it be a white Christmas?

Unfortunately, those wishing for a white Christmas will be disappointed as, according to the Met Office, it doesn’t appear that snow is on the cards for the big day.

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
  • Glasgow, 3/1

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.

A message from the editor:Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.