Belfast Telegraph

White Christmas odds slashed as UK braced for 'wintry chill'

By Linda Stewart

Cross your fingers and make a wish - a white Christmas could be on the cards for Northern Ireland.

One forecaster is giving a 40% chance of snow in Northern Ireland on Christmas Day as the north west of the UK and Ireland is hit by showers.

Netweather says the unsettled "milder-cooler merry-go-round" will continue as we move towards Christmas Day, but there is a 40% chance of it snowing here.

"The run-in to Christmas is still mixed with often unsettled weather and frequent changes between milder and colder weather for the UK as low pressure systems move through," a spokesman said.

"On to Christmas Day itself -there's still some uncertainty but, at this point, it's pointing toward a chilly day, with frost early and late and the risk of some wintry showers across northern regions - especially Scotland."

Earlier this week, bookies slashed the odds for the UK having a white Christmas. Bookmaker Coral was quoting odds of 3-1 for a white Christmas in Aberdeen, the shortest odds for any UK city.

Over the weekend, the bookmaker slashed the odds of a white Christmas in Belfast from 8-1 to 6-1. Spokeswoman Nicola McGeady said: "There are a lot of romantic punters out there who like the idea of snow on Christmas Day and are betting on it. It's odds-on 1-2 that it snows in any UK city. We think it will snow somewhere, but where remains to be seen."

Sean Penston of Meteogroup said the next few days were looking mild and damp, but there were indications that we could see a colder northwesterly air flow developing on Christmas Eve, with a few showers pushing in from the North Atlantic.

"It could be wintry in nature, especially over hills. It does look like turning colder," he said.

"Christmas Day is looking mixed - quite chilly with some sunny spells and a continued chance of the odd shower, especially near northeasterly coasts.

"This could fall as hail or sleet and there may be a light dusting of snow on the tops of mountains."

The Weather Channel UK said a cold front will be waving around over central Britain tomorrow and then over the south on Christmas Eve, with pulses of rain moving from west to east. The north is to become colder and clearer, but with wintry showers over north and west Scotland during tomorrow and Wednesday.

Forecaster Leon Brown said: "Currently Christmas Day is looking crisp and mainly clear with a frosty day in the north and evening frost over central and southern Britain.

"For anyone travelling after Christmas Day, watch the forecasts since it looks like low pressure will bring some very unsettled weather from the 26th to 28th December - often windy and some high rainfall totals, with a snow risk in the north.

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