| 11.3°C Belfast

A white Christmas? Snow set to fall in the UK ahead of big day


Snowfall in Northern Ireland last year

Snowfall in Northern Ireland last year

Snowfall in Northern Ireland last year

Long-range weather forecasts are predicting snow could fall in Northern Ireland this side of Christmas.

However, the snow shovel and tyre chains might not be required just yet.

The Met Office forecast for the next two weeks show snow possibly hitting some more mountainous parts of the country, but with mild conditions remaining in most areas.

The period between December 15 and Christmas Eve will have more blustery conditions, with rain and colder temperatures moving east gradually across the UK.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, meteorologist Craig Snell said: "For the rest of this week things will be on the mild side for temperatures at this time of year. There won’t be any snow for the rest of the week. Generally for Northern Ireland it will be rain.

"Going into the week before Christmas it looks like it will become more unsettled. There is a chance with some odd spell of snow in the Mournes and the Sperrins.

"It's still a little bit too early to say for certain what is going to happen in the lead up to Christmas, from 21 December onward, the most likely scenario is we continue with this unsettle regime, with temperatures hovering around normal for this time of year."

Mr Snells said the chances were "fairly low" there would be snow lying in residential areas in this timeframe, but said chances of this would increase in the New Year.

According to figures gathered by the Guardian, there have been 14 white Christmases in Northern Ireland since the start of the 1960s.

The warmest Christmas on record in Northern Ireland came in 2016, when the mercury hit a high of 14.8C in the Newforge area of Belfast.

Coldest temperatures came in 2010, when a freezing -17.5C was recorded in Hillsborough, where snow of a depth of 17cm was also recorded.

The UK-wide forecast from Met Office for the coming weeks reads: "There could be some snow where the colder air meets the wet weather, most likely over the hills in the north, but it may fall to lower levels in places too.

"Thereafter, the weather is likely to be changeable and often windy and cloudy, with showers or longer spells of rain at times.

"Any snow is most likely on high ground in the north. During the following week,there may be some drier spells for a time with more sunshine, but clearer colder nights would lead to some night frost.

"Overall, temperatures are likely to be around normal for the time of year."

Belfast Telegraph