Day 10

White Christmas

Advent10Dreaming of a white Christmas? Snow at Christmas in the UK is a rarity, indeed were it not for a brief period of cooling of the climate in the early 19th century finding cards with snowy scenes would be much less likely. In fact the whole idea of white Christmas is almost entirely down to that Dickens chap. He saw snow at Christmas and thus included the stuff into his stories – something he would never have done had he been a car driver.

Odds on snow falling on December 25th always fall as we approach the day itself. This has nothing to do with falling temperatures but reflects the amount of money being wagered on a single flake of snow falling at a specified location. That location depends upon where the bet is placed and includes Buckingham Palace in London; Aldergrove Airport in Belfast; Pittodrie, the home of Aberdeen Football Club in Scotland; the set of Coronation Street in Manchester; and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Statistics show in the last 54 years there have been a surprising 38 white Christmas Days (ie a single snowflake). However a widespread snowfall – ‘widespread’ defined as 40% of reporting stations recording snow on the ground at 9am on Christmas Day – has happened just four times in the same period. The last ‘widespread’ snowfall occurred in 2010, with 83% of the country confirming snow on the ground at 9am, this is the whitest Christmas ever recorded. And before you decide to keep your stake money, the previous year of 2009 also saw a white Christmas but with only 57% officially white. The other white years were 1981 with 52% and 1995 with 40%.

Source/ Further information:

MetOffice – Will it be a white Christmas?