As Londoners wrap up for a frosty weekend what are the odds we'll get a white Christmas?

Rebecca Smith
The chances of widespread snow aren't too high
The chances of widespread snow aren't too high (Source: Getty)

You might be the feeling the chill this weekend, after forecasters predicted overnight lows of -2C and daytime temperatures of around 7C today and tomorrow.

The Met Office said "a cold front" moving in over the weekend will bring drier, colder air.

And Public Health England issued a cold weather warning yesterday for six regions of England: the North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands and the East of England.

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Dr Thomas Waite, consultant in extreme events at PHE, said:

Think about how the bad weather may affect your friends, family and neighbours, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions. These groups can be particularly vulnerable to the ill-effects of cold so think now what you could do to help.

So with all the cold weather and travel disruption it often causes as a result, are we at least going to see a white Christmas?

Read more: Wrap up warm, there's a cold snap on its way to London next week...

Crystal Ski Holidays has created a snow calculator, analysing 25 years of snowfall and depth data from the Met Office and attempting to gauge the likelihood of snow across the UK. The Met Office has said that for most parts of the UK, Christmas is "only at the beginning of the period when it's likely to snow".

We're more likely to see it between January and March post-Christmas pudding than we are in December. Snow or (its less appealing cousin) sleet fall an average 3.9 days in December, compared to 5.3 days in January, 5.6 days in February and 4.2 days in March.

Not too promising in the South East... (Source: Crystal Ski Holidays)

Your best chance of seeing snow? Better get up North stat as many regions in Scotland have a 55 per cent chance according to the snow calculator. And the East has a 26 per cent shot, though it's a less positive prospect in the South East (15 per cent) and South West (just 10 per cent).

And don't forget the Met Office's definition of a white Christmas might be a bit different to our optimistic expectations. It needs "one snowflake to be observed falling in the 24 hours of 25 December somewhere in the UK".

There's actually only been a widespread covering of snow four times in the past 51 years. So in short: don't get your hopes up.

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