20 Dec 2010

UK weather: could a white Christmas be on the way?

Channel 4 News looks at the weather forecast over the next few days, as snow and ice continue to cause disruption to travellers during the Christmas period.

UK weather: could a white Christmas be on its way?

There’s no sign of a let up in the freezing UK weather conditions this week.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for southwest England and Wales tonight, where they’re predicting between two and four inches of snow could fall in many places.

They’ve warned that there could be up to 10 inches in Somerset – where several main roads are already affected, and a number of train and bus services have been suspended.

The heavy snow warnings – which also cover northwest England and Northern Ireland – will remain in force until Wednesday along with warnings of hazardous ice and snow showers across London, the South East, the Midlands and much of the north.

Met Office forecasters are also predicting that snow will begin spreading north and east on Thursday and Friday, with strong northerly winds making it feel bitterly cold.

White Christmas?

As for the prediction for Christmas day there’s the chance of further snow, widespread ice and some freezing fog in most parts of the country – although any significant snowfall will be confined to a few local areas.

Ladbrokes say bookmakers have taken record bets on the possibility of a white Christmas – with punters staking more than £110,000 in 48 hours – as the odds of snow falling on the 25th continue to tumble.

Ladbrokes – which quoted the shortest odds for decades on a white Christmas in London, at 11/10 – is bracing itself for a record payout.

Beyond the holiday weekend, though, it’s looking brighter – and it should even turn slightly milder in the southwest, with some rain or sleet.

Temperatures across the country could be back to near-normal by the New Year.