UK weather: White Christmas unlikely but frosty and cold conditions expected

20 December 2020, 18:15 | Updated: 20 December 2020, 18:17

Those hoping for snow on Christmas Day are likely to be disappointed
Those hoping for snow on Christmas Day are likely to be disappointed. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Frosty weather will bring a "seasonal feel" to Britain over the festive period but a truly white Christmas is unlikely, the Met Office has said.

The mercury is expected to remain in mid-single figures up and down the UK on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, however those hoping for snow to settle will likely be disappointed.

Despite a wet start to the coming week, the Met Office said temperatures will drop, meaning anyone popping out for a winter walk should wrap up warm in hats, scarves and coats.

Tom Morgan, a meteorologist at the national weather service, said the mercury could plummet to -3C in parts of England and Wales on Christmas Eve morning.

But in London and the south of England, temperature readings could climb to 6C on 24 December, with a similar high of 5C on Christmas Day.

Parts of the north, including Manchester, will face slightly colder temperatures of 4C and 5C on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day respectively.

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The UK is more likely to experience a frosty Christmas than a white Christmas
The UK is more likely to experience a frosty Christmas than a white Christmas. Picture: PA

"It's going to be dry for the vast majority of the UK, and it will be a cold and frosty start to the day, particularly for England and Wales," said Mr Morgan of the Christmas weather.

"So there will be a seasonal feel in terms of white frost on the ground, but in terms of snow, we're not anticipating any on the ground for the vast majority of the country, unfortunately.

"It's going to be a frosty Christmas rather than a white Christmas.

"It's a mild and wet start to the week in the south but turning much colder and sunnier for the Christmas period and I think everyone will notice that.

"Even though it's not going to be a white Christmas, people will still need their big coats and scarves and hats etcetera for any walks they may be going on over the Christmas period."

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The UK is more likely to wake up to frosty conditions on Christmas Day
The UK is more likely to wake up to frosty conditions on Christmas Day. Picture: PA

Mr Morgan added that some eastern parts of Scotland may see a light covering of snow on Christmas Eve, however snowflakes are not currently expected to fall on 25 December.

He said that temperatures at the beginning of the week would be "milder than average" (around 13-14C) for the time of year, which is usually 8C or 9C.

The Met Office said that flood watches were in place for southern parts of England and Wales following recent spells of wet weather, and rainfall warnings may be kept in place for the beginning of the week.

It comes after the Eden Project botanical gardens in Cornwall were closed on Sunday following "significant flooding" at the site overnight.

A spokesman for the attraction said high volumes of rainwater caused a number of landslips on the site but no staff has been injured.

"Managers closed the site as a safety precaution and are assessing the damage," they said, adding that it would be closed to visitors again on Monday due to a further assessment being carried out.

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