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What are the Odds of a White Christmas this Year?

xmas snow

In many cities around the world that sit on higher lines of latitude within the northern hemisphere, snow on Christmas is a given.F or many other cities though, each December raises the question – will we have a white Christmas this year?

In 2010, the UK experienced its coldest winter in over 100 years and the majority of the country enjoyed a ‘Bing Crosby’ style White Christmas. However, London, as usual, was left out. It has been almost 20 years since the UK capital has experienced a White Christmas – defined as a single flake of snow falling on a specific building (at that time, Buckingham Palace).

Could this year be different though?

After strong snowfall in the Scottish Highlands last weekend, bookies began reducing odds for a white Christmas in various cities across the UK. However, changes in the weather since then show that chances of snow are now decreasing, especially in London.

Latest odds from William Hill give London only a 14/1 chance of snow on Christmas while Cardiff, Norwich, and Bristol get 12/1 odds.

Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham have 10/1 odds with the far north Scottish cities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Edinburgh getting 5/1 odds.

Paddy Power gives slightly lower odds, offering 10/1 for London and 8/1 for Liverpool.


How’s it Looking Across the Pond?


The U.S. defines a white Christmas as at least 1-inch of snow on the ground – a significantly higher bar than that of the UK.

While cities and states along the Canadian border and in the Rocky Mountains are almost guaranteed snow, the likelihood for areas in lowing lying states drops considerably.

The website White Christmas Calculator gives New York City only a 12 percent chance of snow on Christmas. Boston, MA, gets a slightly higher 19 percent chance while Chicago enjoys an impressive 41 percent chance.

While the warmer, coastal cities of Miami and Los Angeles get an unsurprising 0 percent chance, the rather icy city of Anchorage, Alaska, gets a 96 percent probability.

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