Let it snow? Forecasters say chance of festive flurries is faint

Britain woke to a mild Christmas morning on Monday - leaving those hoping for snowy scenes sorely disappointed.

Most of the UK will see temperatures reach double figures on Christmas Day, with the mercury peaking at 13C (55F) in some places.

Forecasters say the chances of snow flurries are slim, except in the Scottish hills and parts of southern Aberdeenshire later in the day.

It is likely to be bad news for some hopeful punters after there was a surge in last-minute bets for a white Christmas.

Over the weekend, bookmaker Coral saw an increase in customers having a flutter on a flurry of flakes on Monday morning in 13 of the UK's biggest cities.

Aberdeen had the shortest odds at 2-1 for snowfall, while Birmingham and Manchester are both on 6-1 with London trailing on 8-1.

A forecaster at the Met Office did not share their optimism, saying the chances of snowfall in London were "virtually nil".

Rural Scotland still has the highest chance of living the white Christmas dream - although Boxing Day morning is more likely to see a sprinkling of snow.

Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: "It's looking like a pretty grey Christmas.

"Some places in Scotland will see some snow, but it will be getting dark by then. It's more likely they could wake up to snowy scenes tomorrow, mainly in the hills."

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

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.

Coral spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said: "It may be punters betting with their hearts rather than their heads but over the last few months we have taken a record number of bets on this year being a White Christmas.

"We will be paying out long into Boxing Day if snow does fall."

Northern Ireland, western Scotland and parts of north-west England will see heavier and more persistent rain on Christmas Day, while Boxing Day is likely to be sunnier but colder for most parts.

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