Advertisement

Is it going to snow in London this weekend? Met Office forecasts sub-zero temperatures

Temperatures dropped below freezing recently in London but, while other parts of the country have seen snow, the capital is still awaiting its first snowfall.

For many, the snow is already melting, following a slight increase in temperatures, but the Met Office has warned that several areas should brace for further snowfall - while those who missed out this time around are wondering if they will see any white flakes this year.

This is due to an Atlantic air mass that is maintaining its chilly air mass in the north while bringing less cold weather to numerous southern locations. Jason Kelly, Chief Meteorologist of the Met Office, said.

Kelly explained: "Where these two air masses meet is the focus for continuing ice risk. For parts of northeast Scotland, wintry showers will bring some icy conditions overnight, as well as some accumulating snow inland."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan activated emergency cold weather protocols last week, opening emergency accommodation across the capital, as temperatures were set to plunge below freezing.

For tomorrow (December 7), the Met Office has put a yellow warning of rain.

And, as it gets colder, it has raised the age-old question: could Londoners see a white Christmas this year?

How cold does it need to be for snow?

For snow to fall and stick around for any length of time, the temperature needs to be below freezing.

The ground temperature needs to be below two degrees for the snow to fall and lie. However, the air temperature also needs to be below freezing, or the snow will melt as it falls and turn into sleet.

What are the odds of a white Christmas in the UK?

Most bookmakers declare a white Christmas when just one snowflake falls in the 24 hours of December 25 at one of the 12 major UK airports.

At the moment, according to OLBG, snow is unlikely to fall in the capital on Christmas Day, with only an eight per cent chance (11/1 odds).

Meanwhile, Gatwick airport is the least likely place in the UK to see snow, with odds of just 20/1, or 4.76 per cent.

The most likely place, unsurprisingly, is Scotland, with both Edinburgh and Glasgow given odds of 2/1 – a 33.3 per cent chance.

Leeds is the most likely place in England (odds of 3/1, a 25 per cent chance), with Belfast on odds of 7/2 or a 22 per cent chance of snow.

Meanwhile, Cardiff only has a nine per cent chance of a white Christmas, with odds of 10/1.

Also tied with Gatwick as the least likely places for snow to fall are Bristol, Aberdeen, Liverpool and Newcastle.

How to keep safe when there is snow

When driving in low visibility, such as during severe rain or snowfall, clean both your front and rear lights before taking to the road and use dipped headlights.

When walkways are too slippery or snowy to use, pay attention to those who are strolling along roadways. Make sure your car is always equipped with both a de-icer and an ice scraper.

If power goes out in your area, the following necessities could come in handy:

  • lighters and matches

  • batteries and torches

  • a mobile phone power bank

Following these easy procedures can help you cope if your power goes out:

  • Prepare for the return of power by turning off all electrical appliances that should not be left unattended.

  • Keep a light on so you can determine when the power outage has been resolved.

  • Verify whether your neighbours are safe and whether they have lost electricity as well. If they are unaffected it is possible that it was only your trip switch that caused the power loss.

  • If it's chilly outside, stay warm and shut interior doors to retain the heat.

  • If heating systems are unavailable, portable heaters make a useful backup.

  • For information, dial 105; this is a free service in England, Scotland and Wales.