White Christmas 2013
Christmas day is now within the reach of several forecasting models. Recent runs of such models have indicated a likelihood of a cool Westerly flow, giving perhaps the chance of some snow to higher elevations in Scotland, but a very minimal chance elsewhere.
This forecast is updated daily Monday-Friday, so remember to keep checking back as we draw closer to the big day.
Monday 23rd December 2013
As we are now in to range of the high resolution forecast models this is the scenario shown for 1am on Christmas day – this image represents the highest chance of snow across the UK through the 24 hours of Christmas day, with the risk of some wintry showers through the early hours over the hills of Wales, North-West England and Scotland. So the chance of some snow falling certainly. Whether we manage the official definition for a white christmas and see snow falling at one of the manned weather observatories will be touch and go.
Friday 20th December 2013
Not much change in the story once again today. The chance of some strong winds still in the North but significantly lighter than in the run up to Christmas day. The risk of a white christmas still remains across higher ground, with still the chance of wintry showers to lower levels in the North, but this remains uncertain. The highest probability of a white christmas at present comes across Scottish cities, Aberdeen and Glasgow are the current favourites. But it should be noted the setup is very marginal and at present the expectation is still for any wintriness to be across higher ground – perhaps down as far as The Pennines too.
Thursday 19th December 2013
The story remains largely the same, rather breezy (though at the moment the strongest of the winds look like easing early on Christmas Eve) with the possibility of some showers and rather cool too – cool enough for the showers to turn a touch wintry over the highest ground of Scotland. There is still a little variation within forecast modelling as to how cool the air is, with today’s ECMWF 0z deterministic run suggesting that wintry showers could reach lower levels in the far North of Scotland and down as far as The Pennines too. However a widespread white christmas still, at this stage, looks unlikely. If the showers do make it down to lower levels across Scotland then we may see a technical white christmas (a single flake of snow falling at an official observation station, observed by a meteorologist), but for the majority of us closer to sea level it still looks likely to be a green christmas.
Wednesday 18th December 2013
Once again today’s model updates have suggested a rather wet and windy christmas day, with the greatest risk of any snow still on the highest ground of Scotland, though it should be noted that a few model runs so bring the risk of snow to lower levels across the Northern half of the UK close to the christmas period so there is still a slim chance of some wintriness to lower levels, though it remains a low probability for the time-being . The biggest headache in terms of the forecast is now proving to be the how disruptive any winds might be during christmas day itself, with each model run showing a different depth of low pressure and therefore different maximum wind gusts scenarios. At the moment it seems likely that we will see gale force winds but how disruptive they prove to be, along with the exact track of the strongest winds, remains to be seen.
Tuesday 17th December 2013
The story remains similar from today’s model updates, with the above image taken from the ECMWF 0z model run showing deep low pressure to the North of the UK giving some gale force winds in the North and some generally cool and unsettled conditions for all. There would be a risk of snow over the higher ground of Scotland but elsewhere it would be a wet and windy day.
Monday 16th December 2013
The above images show two different scenario from forecasting model for christmas day. The general theme is the same on both of them with low pressure in charge and unsettled conditions prevailing. However the big difference is how significant the low pressure system is. On the image on the left the very tightly packed isobars indicate some gale to severe gale force winds, as depicted by the 0z ECMWF deterministic run, where as the image on the right, from the 6z GFS deterministic run shows a much shallower low pressure system and far slacker winds. So whilst its looking increasingly likely that the call for an unsettled christmas day is on the money it is now all eyes on whether there will be some severe winds around or not.
Friday 13th December 2013
Today’s runs have taken a slightly different turn with low pressure still predominantly in charge but some cooler air thrown in to the mix. This could prove enough to give a little snow over the highest ground in the North, though to lower levels it would likely just be cool and wet.
Thursday 12th December 2013
The latest charts from the GFS still suggest a mostly unsettled day with the best chance of some drier conditions being in the far South where high pressure is close by. The airmass over the UK is a cool one though so there would be a chance from these charts of some wintriness over the very highest ground of Scotland. Otherwise though it looks largely cool and unsettled.
Wednesday 11th December 2013
Todays runs have taken a more unsettled turn for the day itself with some vigorous low pressure systems developing in the Atlantic and moving in to the UK. It’s still a long while away so the specific details are still open to lots of change but should a chart such as the one above actually verify then some strong to gale force winds would be likely. One to watch!
Tuesday 10th December 2013
We have now switched to using the GFS model as it has come in to range, and it continues to suggest much the same story with high pressure close to the South of the UK perhaps giving some settled conditions here but low pressure further North bringing unsettled conditions here. The most recent update of the ECMWF 32 day model also suggests this sort of pattern.
Monday 9th December
The general idea of high pressure to the South and low pressure to the North continues, with a general Westerly flow over the UK and a low chance of a white christmas, though perhaps the chance of a frost early and late in the South.
Friday 6th December
Today’s CFS runs have largely suggested high pressure being close to the East of the UK (in varying positions) with atlantic low pressure systems being held out to the West. This gives the risk of something a little less settled in Western-most parts but for most it would be mostly dry with average temperatures and perhaps a little frost overnight.
Thursday 5th December
Today’s CFS runs have been far more unsettled, such as the one above. Such a scenario would not lead to a white christmas away from perhaps over the very highest ground in Scotland.
Wednesday 4th December
Much the same as yesterday’s update today’s runs of the CFS have generally kept high pressure close to or over the UK for christmas day, meaning some mostly settled weather is likely across the UK, with perhaps just some overnight frost to give something a little more festive feeling.
Tuesday 3rd December
Today’s runs of the CFS have mostly pointed towards the likelihood of high pressure over or just to the East of the UK, such as the scenario shown in the image above. This would lead to mostly dry but cold conditions across the UK on christmas day with perhaps some festive-feeling frost around early and late. This ties in rather well with todays update of the ECMWF 32 day model as well.
Monday 2nd December
Today’s runs of the CFS model have continued to point mostly towards lower pressure to the North of the UK and higher pressure to the South (just as in the image above), giving a Westerly wind across the UK for the big day. Roughly 1 in every 4 runs continues to give the signal for winds sourced from the East instead, but at present we see a continuing signal from the CFS model of a 75% chance of a milder than average christmas day and so a low risk of a white christmas.
Thursday 28th November
Today’s runs of the CFS model have continued to indicate the most likely scenario being high pressure close to the South of the UK, with low pressure to the North. This would give the likelihood of temperatures around or slightly above the seasonal average for the time of year, meaning that snow on christmas day would be unlikely. If the high pressure were to settle over the UK there is the chance of it being frosty at least!
Last Updated: 16:23 on 20th December 2013
Current probability of a White Christmas 2013
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