Christmas Snow Risk

Updated: 13/12/12

With the Christmas period edging ever closer and into range of the models it’s now possible to give a more detailed overview of expected conditions. Current model guidance suggests Christmas day itself will be dominated by low pressure with winds coming in from the West. This suggests a showery and milder regime rather than anything cold and snowy.

Christmas GFS

The GFS Ensembles for Christmas day highlight a similar picture showing reasonable support for temperatures to be around or slightly above the seasonal average for Christmas. The yellow box on the chart below shows the forecast for the Christmas period, the purple line is the “snow line”, for snow to fall, we want all of the other lines to be around or below this purple snow line. Unfortunately a large majority of them are well above, suggesting things will be too mild for snow.


Due to this outlook, I have therefore reduced the risk of snow on the snow risk chart below.


Update: 03/12/12

Slight upgrade in todays update for Northern and Eastern areas and a slight downgrade for Western areas and Ireland


Update: 19/11/12


24 thoughts on “Christmas Snow Risk

  1. Well i think ts a really big mistake im scottish husband welsh its not good …………….we’re in south east its not very specific ….why is england and ireland mre important….its 25% for wales ……by the way…..we live 1350 ft asl….

    1. I wouldn’t say more important, but being specific at this stage isn’t going to prove accurate anyway, this page really is just for fun and shouldn’t be taken seriously

    1. I based this forecast purely on the CFS Output, forecasting specifics outside of a week isn’t possible, especially when it comes to snowfall with that not being able to be forecasted for a specific area outside of a 2-3 days window. This page is just for fun, the next CFS output could see percentages increase

  2. Don’t think we should follow all these different weather forecasters to there word, plus, there’s so much variety of areas, & conditions of where snow falls, in this country. In fact to produce snow in any quantity, needs a certain coming together of different elements of conditions to make this happen.

    I well remember a Chart & Weather forecast from January, of this year, from the BBC News Channel one evening, showing a huge white Swathe of snow, From Cumbria, the N west Coast, down to N Wales, and the rest In West Yorkshire, and parts of Midlands.

    Imagine all the kids Disappointment in the morning, when they looked out of the window, hoping to see snow on there bedroom window sill, and all they saw was, rain, Not one snow flake to be seen. That’s because Most of the mainstream Forecasters do not have enough air time, to give proper details, they just generalize, and cover themselves, By putting a blanket of snow, over all possible areas. regardless of terrain or Coastline. This Irritates the public even more. So In Blackpool for instance, Although The swathe of snow, was right up the edges of the Lancashire Coast, The Warmer Air of the Irish Sea, Isn’t cold enough to produce the right conditions, apart from heavy Sleety rain. But They never tell you this, thus, like many of my friends, on that night, we covered our windscreens, got up early, in case there were no public transport running, only to find the ground, the same as we left it the previous day!

    The Eastern Part of the UK is very Different, When A North East Wind starts blowing in showers over the (colder Than the Atlantic) Sea, these showers don’t get suppressed by any real warm Air, so the percentage of forecasting snow in these regions correctly has a 70% chance of being right. The South East, Where I used to Live, is somewhat more tricky, where snow is concerned, In fact, the South East corner of the country, sits where, it can be attacked, quite suddenly from Troughs of low pressure, or just get hit by Strengthening South East winds from the near Continent, bringing, sometimes a good inch or two of snow fall by morning, which was not forecast, because the conditions, just changed so quick, and is why The South East, usually takes any warnings of this type of weather more, as “Most likely Scenario”.

    returning back to where live, On the N west Coast, After Preston, the terrain, starts to get steeper quite quick, parts of Manchester, then into Rochdale, you talking hundred foot or so above sea level within 60 miles of Blackpool. Then As you travel up the M62, you climbing some serious Gradients, which by the time you get Into the Dales, M66, and The Moors, your rain has now turned into a blizzard.

    In my 17 years of living on N west Coast, we only had two winters in that time, that produced proper snow fall, Due to really Cold North Westerly airflow, that collided with a low pressure system that managed to make its way down from the The North East. That, is a rare occurrence, which is why we see rain, rather then snow in the N west low lying areas. So, in summing up,Just because some forecasters , say there’s going to be a snow event and all that, it depends almost entirely Where You Live, What Weather you may or not get.

  3. How come you have no mention for the midlands? East midlands or west midlands.
    Andy – Birmingham – West Midland

  4. Headlines! Headlines!, Daily Express “Siberian Blast on its way” “Too cold for Grit to work”! -30C record breaking lows In parts Of Scotland, Jonathan Powell, &Brian Glaze, warns Of an approaching Atlantic Weather system, that will bring widespread risk of snow, resulting in “a White Out”. Even the Met office issued a health warning of severe cold with temps in the north being -6C all day, while southern areas can expect -3C all day, with lows of -16C overnight.

    “there’s a high chance of the UK that we will have a white Christmas. with bookies slashing the odds of temp records breaking from 14/1 to 8/1 and odds have shortened dramatically for Snow on Christmas day.

    On the face if, it looks like the usual rubbish printed by the Express, but there may be more truth in it this time round, as more reputable stations and forecasters have been talking of the Eastern Bitterly wind airflow moving into the UK from Russia and the Baltic’s for some days now.

    “Now Wheres My snow shovel”?


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