The festive season is here and speculation surrounding the weather forecast throughout December is building. Following reports that a harsh winter was on the way back in September, plus the cold spell that hit around Halloween and the Met Office's recent weather warning for ice, there's one question that has dominating the headlines ever since – will it snow for those Christmas Day (or Boxing Day) runs?
According to the bookmakers, "a White Christmas looks on the cards", with Aberdeen the most likely UK city to see snowfall on 25th December, per the latest odds at Ladbrokes.
But as the Met Office notes, there's a better chance of snow between January and March than in December. "The Dickensian scene of widespread snow lying on the ground on Christmas Day is much rarer," the weather service says on its website.
So, what's the official outlook for December 2018?
At this stage, a white Christmas doesn't look likely, as snow isn't expected to settle on lower ground.
"In winter there is always a chance of snow at high altitudes: Scottish and Welsh mountains and the high tops of northern England for example," Grahame Madge, a spokesperson for the Met Office, explained to Country Living. "But at the moment there isn’t a strong signal for snow descending to lower levels around Christmas."
According to the Met Office's 30-day forecast, there's a lot of "uncertainty" surrounding the weather over the second half of the month. In the lead-up to Christmas, "we may see a more general trend towards unsettled conditions returning, with spells of wetter and milder weather affecting many parts of the UK, and with a risk of gales at times."
The last time the UK saw widespread snowfall on Christmas Day was in 2010, which was said to be "extremely unusual". According to Madge, "at least one snow flake must be observed falling between 00:00 25 December and 00:00 26 December at whatever the specified location" for it to be deemed a white Christmas. Whatever the weather, it's wise to keep an eye on the forecast where you are.
A version of this article appeared on Country Living.