Exact day snow will fall in January as Brits in for New Year cold snap

21 December 2023, 00:00

It's going to be a snowy start to the year...
It's going to be a snowy start to the year... Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Brits face a fresh wave of snow in the New Year after this year's White Christmas, the Met Office has predicted.

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According to the latest Met Office long-range forecast, which runs from January 4 to 18, a fresh cold snap is coming in January.

This brings potential hazards, the Met Office said, "such as snow and ice".

Its long-range forecast reads: "Short-lived colder spells remain possible, with hazards such as snow and ice, particularly in the north.

"The chance of these colder spells slightly increases moving through January, with a low likelihood of a more prolonged spell of cold weather developing towards mid-month."

Is it going to snow this Christmas?

There was heavy snowfall earlier this month
There was heavy snowfall earlier this month. Picture: Getty

In short, yes.

But probably not in your area.

Read More: Exact day snow to start falling this week ahead of White Christmas

Read More: White Christmas 'increasingly likely' as Met Office issues fresh snow forecast for festive period

According to the Met Office, from around December 23, the Christmas period is "most likely to start with a colder, showery, northerly airflow across much of the country".

This is likely to bring "some snowfall", the forecaster added, primarily in the hills and mountains of Scotland.

The Met Office went on to say that this "interlude" is likely to be "short-lived", before milder temperatures return.

What defines a White Christmas?

Man carries a Christmas tree across a snow covered field in Bodsham
Man carries a Christmas tree across a snow covered field in Bodsham. Picture: Getty

It's been a couple of years since the last White Christmas, with the last one officially recorded in 2022, though no snow was actually recorded on the ground.

According to the Met Office's definition, it is a White Christmas if one snowflake falls in the 24 hours of 25 December somewhere in the UK.

While the national forecaster says the most accurate forecast for a White Christmas can be given between December 20 and 25, its long-range forecast now covers the big day.

The last white Christmas in the UK was in 2022, when nine percent of stations recorded snow falling.

There were also White Christmases recorded in 2020 and 2021, though again, less than one percent of stations reported snow actually lying on the ground in 2021, and four percent in 2020.

There was no snow recorded in 2018 or 2019, according to the Met Office, and the last widespread White Christmas came in 2010, when there was snow at 83 percent of stations in the UK.This was the highest ever amount recorded.

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