White Christmas: will it snow on 25 December, 2013?
Dust off that sled: the odds on seasonal snow have been slashed
BOOKMAKERS have slashed the odds on a white Christmas in several parts of the UK after weather conditions deteriorated over the weekend.
As the UK braces for torrential rain and gales today and tomorrow, there is a growing belief that snow may fall in some parts of the UK on Christmas Day. Bookmaker William Hill is offering 2/1 odds on at least one snowflake falling in cities including Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Punters can take a 4/1 bet on snow in Dublin and Belfast and bookmakers have the chance of snow in London at 5/1.
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes told The Guardian: "Before the weekend we'd all but written off a white Christmas but the last 48 hours have seen the biggest snow gamble for ages."
The Met Office says a white Christmas is not unusual in the UK: snow has fallen on Christmas Day 38 times in the last 52 years. The last white Christmas was 2010 when heavy falls left snow on the ground at 83 per cent of the Met Office's measuring stations.
In late November, the Daily Express declared that Britons should "Get ready for "three months of winter hell". Since then, the chances of snow seemed to fall away as forecasters suggested most of the UK would experience wet, windy conditions - and higher than average temperatures - on the big day.
But British weather is mercurial and the chances of snow have soared. Bing Crosby would be thrilled. ·