Will we have a white Christmas this year?

12 December 2022, 15:09

St James Park in London covered in snow with a robin
White Christmas 2022: Forecasters talk snow in December. Picture: Alamy

By Zoe Adams

Will it snow for Christmas day 2022? Following early snowfall in December many want to know the weather forecast and the chances of a white Christmas this year.

The Christmas countdown is on and for many of us that comes with the hope for a white Christmas.

Thanks to climate change and a historic calendar alteration, the chances of snow fall during the festive season has become lower and lower over the years, however, a shock snowfall in early December has left many with high hopes for snow this year.

The idea of waking up to a blanket of snow on December 25th doesn't seem that hard to believe either after 2022 has brought plenty of extreme weather conditions including our hottest day on record.

So what are the chances of a white Christmas for 2022? Does the weather forecast predict we'll see more snow before the end of the year? Here's what's been said so far:

Snowfall on Norfolk field with church in the background
Snow in December has become less likely due to climate change. Picture: Alamy

Will we have a white Christmas this year?

According to the Met Office, snow is more likely to fall between the months of January and March meaning the chances of snow at Christmas are low.

Snow, on average, falls for 3.9 days across the whole of the UK in December. However, the UK has already witnessed huge snow fall already this month.

Experts have admitted it's too early to predict the exact weather for Christmas Day just yet as they said: "We can accurately forecast if snow is likely on any given Christmas Day up to five days beforehand."

However, some weather experts have suggested the chances of snow on December 25th are higher than usual, despite climate change, as they predict the return of the 'Beast from the East'.

Meteorologists have forecast freezing temperatures for December, which is a worry during a cost of living crisis, which could mean a higher likelihood of snow.

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What counts as a white Christmas?

The standards for a white Christmas are actually pretty low.

The Met Office definition is simply that one single snowflake must be observed falling from the sky during the 24 hours of December 25.

This has to be noted from observation points across the country including the Met Office building in London, Buckingham Palace, Belfast (Aldergrove Airport), Aberdeen (Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen FC), Edinburgh (Castle), Coronation Street in Manchester and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

They also analyse data from other observing stations around the country.

When was the last white Christmas in the UK?

By the above standards, the last white Christmas was technically 2021 with 6% of the stations recording a snow fall. However, less than 1% reported snow on the ground.

The last official reporting of wide spread snow was in 2010 which the Met Office report as "extremely unusual".

More than 80% of stations (the highest on record) reported snow on the ground.

There was also a white Christmas in 2009 where 13% of stations reported snow falling with 57% saying there was snow on the ground.