UK

White Christmas For 2014? Here's The Weather Forecast We Have So Far

29/11/2014 08:21 GMT | Updated 29/11/2014 08:59 GMT

Will it be a white Christmas in 2014, with snow falling on December 25th?

If the headlines of the Daily Express are to be believed, Santa will be stuck in snowdrifts burying the UK up to the chimney tops.

Exacta Weather's James Madden told the paper volcanic ash from Iceland would block out sunlight leading to extreme winter weather, saying "a notable period of exceptional cold and significant snow should be taken seriously throughout the latter part of December and into January."

snow uk

A Shih Tzu dog plays in the snow in Hexham in Northumberland

But the Met Office? Apparently it's pretty unlikely. The official body says temperatures are to be pretty average for this time of year.

"Over the next ten to 15 days it's likely to be benign, quiet whether which means the weather won't be warm but no more cold than what we're used to this time of year, with only light wind and little rain, with some brighter spells" he said.

Looking beyond that, as we approach the Christmas period, the Met Office believes things could get a little more unsettled, but that is likely to mean wind, rather than snow.

"There are no strong signals for weather events in the long-range forecast. Temperatures could be slightly below average but nothing we're not used to at this kind of time in December."

Snow in UK

So does that mean no white Christmas. "It's not possible to rule it out yet, we could see some snow, but it will probably be on higher ground.

"But atmospheric conditions are very sensitive and change all the time, 30 days is a long time in advance," the spokesman said.

Average temperatures are between 6-7C in the north of the UK and between 8-9C in the south, the Met predicted.

William Hill currently has odds of 8/1 on a white Christmas in London, 10/1 in Cornwall, 6/1 in Leeds and 4/1 in Aberdeen.

The last white Christmas was in 2010, and there was also snow covering the ground in the previous year.

"A snowflake has fallen on Christmas Day 38 times in the last 52 years, therefore we can probably expect more than half of all Christmases to be a 'white Christmas' in this sense," the Met Office said of the odds.

"Snow lying on the ground on Christmas Day - as we would expect from typical Christmas scene - is much rarer. There has only been a widespread covering of snow on the ground four times in the last 51 years."