UK weather: Met Office gives verdict on white Christmas with long-range forecast

Britain could be treated to a white Christmas, according to the Met Office’s long term predictions.

Each day the national weather organisation publishes a forecast for the four weeks ahead.

The latest one runs up until December 29 and warns of fairly turbulent conditions with a outbreaks of rain.

Snow is also on the cards, both on the high peaks and potentially lower terrain.

“Remaining changeable during this period with outbreaks of rain and showers at times, particularly in the east and the south,” the forecast reads.

“Snow remains most likely over the hills but could still fall to lower levels at times.

“It is likely that drier and settled conditions will continue in the northwest, with a possibility of these more settled conditions developing more widely towards the end of this period.

“This would bring more widespread overnight frosts along with some fog patches.

“Temperatures will overall likely be near, or a little below average, although some milder interludes are possible.”

The two weeks from today also paint a chilly, wet picture.

The forecast continues: “Unsettled and rather cold conditions likely to continue into this period, with spells of rain and heavy showers for most.

“Any snow is most likely over the hills in the north but there is a chance of snow falling to lower levels at times.

“The heaviest and most frequent showers most likely affecting eastern and southern areas, with a possibility of more settled weather towards the northwest.

“Windy at times with a chance of coastal gales.”

The Met Office has predicted lower than average temperatures for this period, along with overnight frosts and fog patches.

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 25 December somewhere in the UK.

The forecaster explains: “We can accurately forecast if snow is likely on any given Christmas Day up to five days beforehand.

“In terms of the statistical likelihood of snow based on climatology, we know that a snowflake has fallen somewhere in the UK on Christmas Day 38 times in the last 54 years, so we can probably expect more than half of all Christmas Days to be a ‘white Christmas’.”