Bookies are offering increasingly short odds on it being a White Christmas in the south of England in 2018.
Snow has already fallen in parts of the UK in recent weeks – including the south coast – while icy conditions are forecast for the coming days, and cold weather is expected to persist into the later part of December.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “It’s not a case of ‘if’ we’ll have a White Christmas, it’s now more a case of ‘where’, according to the latest odds.”
What are the chances of it being a White Christmas in the south?
According to Ladbrokes, there’s currently a 5/1 chance of seeing snow in London and Bristol on Christmas Day, while Portsmouth has an 11/2 chance of enjoying a White Christmas.
Odds for the south are generally around the 5/1 mark.
What is a ‘White Christmas’ exactly, and what do the Met Office say?
The definition that the Met Office uses to define a White Christmas is for one snowflake to be observed falling in the 24 hours of December 25th. Traditionally, there used to use a single location in the country to define a White Christmas, which was the Met Office building in London. However, with the increase in betting on where will see a White Christmas, multiple sites are now used around the country.
The last official White Christmas in the UK was in 2010, when snow was widespread across Northern Ireland, Scotland, parts of Wales, the Midlands, north-east and far south-west England.
According to the Met Office, the UK is “more likely to see snow between January and March than in December”. But there is a chance we could see snow on December 25th this year.
The latest Met Office forecast for December 24 to January 7 notes that: “The early part of this period, including Christmas, is looking fairly changeable with showers or longer spells of rain, possibly wintry over higher ground.
“Later in the month and into the New Year, there is the chance of high pressure becoming established close to the UK. This would bring drier and colder weather.”
Odds for other UK cities are as follows: