Belfast Telegraph

Britain officially had a white Christmas after snow flurries in Cumbria

Those dreaming of a white Christmas had their wishes granted, as parts of Cumbria saw snow fall for a couple of hours.

The Met Office did say there was a slim chance of wintry showers on Christmas Day - and Spadeadam in Cumbria and parts of southern Scotland saw rain turn into show late on December 25.

Despite a largely mild Christmas Day - the highest temperature recorded was 12.6C (54.6F) in Bude, Cornwall - weather warnings for snow and ice are in place on Boxing Day for southern, central and eastern Scotland, and the most northern parts of England.

A further warning for rain and snow is in place for the Midlands and Wales running from 6pm on Tuesday until 11am on Wednesday.

Forecaster Mark Wilson said: "To be a white Christmas, we only need to see one flake but we have reported snowfall in Spadeadam for the last couple of hours.

"There are some suggestions that across parts of Scotland that rain has turned into snow.

"It will turn a bit colder - but nothing like the temperatures we saw earlier this month - I think it would be fair to describe the Boxing Day temperatures as 'around average'.

"Two to four degrees (35-39F) in Scotland and seven to nine in the south.

"It will start bright, but there will be some wet weather in the south west and it will meet cold air over Wales and the Midlands towards the end of Boxing Day."

For years, Christmas was declared "white" if a single flake of snow was observed by a professional meteorologist falling on the roof of the London Weather Centre.

The Met Office has now broadened its definition to extend to other parts of the country, although the snow still has to be recorded by a professional.

The high of 12.6C is a few degrees off the record for the warmest Christmas, when 15.6C (60.08F) was recorded at Killerton, Devon, in 1920.

And while mild, it was still chillier than last year when temperatures reached 15C (59F) in a number of places including Hull, east Yorkshire.

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