White Christmas?

  • The European robin, a favourite subject for Christmas card designers. Photo: David Jones/PA Wire.

    Weathercast's snow cover prediction map for Christmas Day, highlighting the vast swathes of Europe which will be snow-free this Christmas.

    The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, London -- an annual gift from Norway's capital, Oslo. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire.

  • White Christmas?
    19.12.2015 14:44

    It's that time of year, Christmas Day is less than a week away and everyone is gearing up for the big day. The Christmas tree has been decorated, the schools have closed and offices are winding down for the Holiday Season. With the exceptionally mild weather recently, the chances of a white Christmas would appear to be low, but are they? Is there the chance of a sudden change to cold that would make a white Christmas possible? 

    UK and Ireland

    The exceptionally mild conditions affecting the UK and Ireland so far this month are expected to ease somewhat over Christmas. Current indications suggest northern areas will turn rather chilly as a cooler polar maritime air-mass moves in from the anomalously chilly North Atlantic. However, southern areas are more likely to be cloudy and wet with outbreaks of rain, with temperatures near or slightly above average here. So what about seeing some snowfall on Christmas Day? Well, currently it does seem possible for some wintry showers over the Scottish hills and possibly some mountains in northern and western Ireland. However, currently odds seemed stacked against snow falling at any of the major cities in the UK and Ireland (eg. Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Manchester, London, Edinburgh). Nonetheless it cannot be completely ruled out in some of the northern stations as there is some uncertainty on the exact synoptic evolution.


    North America

    North America is currently experiencing a remarkably mild start to winter with temperatures significantly above average. As we move into Christmas week, not much is expected to change. Indeed in the days leading up to Christmas, the eastern United States will experience astoundingly mild temperatures, with temperatures expected to near 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) in New York on Christmas Eve. Christmas day looks set to be snow-less in most major cities in the US, although there is the chance of some snow-fall in the upper Mid-west and over the Rockies.



    The familiar theme continues in Europe, with the remarkably mild conditions expected to persist through much of Christmas week. Christmas Day is expected to be pleasantly mild across most major European cities. Madrid will have sunshine and temperatures in their mid-teens. Temperatures are expected to be in double figures in Paris and Berlin too with some sunshine possible. Conditions will be more seasonal in Oslo and Stockholm with chilly temperatures, but it is expected to stay dry. Meanwhile Moscow is expected to be dull and damp with rain and sleet.



    A cold front is expected to sweep south-east through Korea and Japan on Christmas Eve bringing a significant drop in temperatures and snow showers will feed into parts of northern and western Japan. However, the capital (Tokyo) is expected to stay mostly dry, so unlikely to see a white Christmas. Beijing looks set to be cold and dry with hazy sunny spells. If you are in the mood for some tropical heat, Kuala Lumpur is expected to have a few sunny spells, but afternoon thunderstorms are likely, temperatures are expected to climb to 33C.



    Will the ex-pats be lighting up the barbie this Christmas? It will be exceptionally hot in Melbourne during Christmas week with temperatures expected to reach as high as 36C on Christmas Eve with unbroken sunshine. Christmas Day is expected to start largely dry and warm, but there is the risk of thunderstorms later as colder air begins to move in. More pleasant conditions are expected in Sydney with temperatures predicted to be in their mid-twenties with sunny spells and just the slight risk of a shower. Auckland looks set to be have a pleasant Christmas Day also with warm sunshine.

    By: Matthew Martin