UK weather forecast: Chart shows snowfall may be on the way

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Maps and charts show a pressure system from the northwest of the UK bringing a cold front of weather around the festive period. Forecasters have said “settled weather is expected” for the run-up to Christmas, but some note chances are increasingly likely for colder weather to see out the year.

Grahame Madge, from the Met Office, told Express.co.uk while the lead up to Christmas is expected to see settled weather, more unsettled conditions could feature during and after the holidays.

He said: “Settled weather is expected to prevail across the UK in the run-up to Christmas, with rather a lot of cloud for many areas and temperatures slowly decreasing with time.

“Towards the end of next week, there is an increasing chance of more unsettled weather affecting the UK, with rain, and perhaps snow, possible for some places.

“However, there is a good deal of uncertainty so far ahead and it is too early to say exactly what will happen.”

Jo Farrow, Netweather.tv forecaster, echoed this to Express.co.uk, saying it “It really is too far ahead” to tell if it will be a White Christmas.

She then said there is a “possibility of an Atlantic frontal system coming in around Christmas”, and added: “It would hit cold air and there could be some snow from that, but what the model images are showing is the risk of snow over the high ground of Britain.

“So the Welsh mountains, Pennines, Scottish hills and mountains.

“That might qualify for an official White Christmas but doesn’t mean there will be any pay outs from the bookies as the specific sites you can bet against are at low levels. Still a long way off.”

Ms Farrow wrote about the Atlantic frontal system for Netweather.tv, and said it could “build over the UK later this week”.

She said: “This brings settled, often dry conditions but also a good deal of cloud. There is a strong signal for this with good model agreement but forecasting cloud under a high is tricky.

“Sometimes that cloud is thick enough to give drizzle, especially for coasts and hills. Other times, to the lee of high ground, the cloud breaks and there will be sunshine.

“There are signs that colder air will start to flood our way by December 23 and onwards towards Christmas on the GFS model. Cold but not necessarily snowy.

“The ECM model has the high slipping away to the east by Christmas.

“Enough that a frontal band is forecast to budge in from the west by Christmas Day. If that comes up against the cold air, it would bring snow over northern hills at least.

“However high pressure often takes longer to shift and this is all quite finely balanced and still 11 days away.”

After the Christmas holidays, Netweather.tv’s forecast from December 27 to January 2 holds there is “potential for some snowfall”.

Their forecast read: “Confidence is lower for this period but there is a greater chance of colder weather heading in from the east at some point during this period as highest pressure transfers further north, most likely towards Scandinavia.

“So there is potential for some snowfalls, but not a certainty, as much depends on the specifics of the wind direction and the extent of cold air masses over the near continent.”

Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, also told The Sun a “perfect recipe” of warm North Sea waters and a La Nina cooling of the Pacific after a placid autumn will be behind the unsettled weather.

However, long-range forecasts from the BBC and Met Office’s have dampened hopes for snow on Christmas Day.

The Met Office said: “Heading into the Christmas period, settled conditions are likely.

“Temperatures perhaps close to or slightly above average for this time of year, however some colder interludes may bring a risk of frost at times.

“The last week of December and into early January is looking to remain settled, with an increasing chance of frost and fog during clearer spells for Christmas and towards New Year.”
Meanwhile, the BBC said: “Over the Christmas week, the high is favoured across northwest Europe to southeast Europe with the low pressure systems now further north of the United Kingdom.

“This would lead to a calmer and somewhat drier pattern, especially across western parts and Scotland.

“Generally near seasonal temperatures are anticipated over this week, but maybe slightly below average over Wales, Scotland and western England.”

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