It’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn to Christmas and in particular, will it snow on Christmas Day? Below we take a look at the probability of snow and all the White Christmas odds 2023.

How Likely Is A White Christmas?

For many people, snow is what the festive period is all about. We see it portrayed on Christmas cards, in movies, and there’s plenty of songs about it; from Sammy Cahn’s Let It Snow, to that old Christmas favourite Good King Wenceslas.

Nevertheless, for people in the UK, Christmas is just at the beginning of the season when snow becomes possible, so betting on a White Christmas is not quite the ‘sure thing’ that many of us think.

Of course, the bookies are happy to take bets on a White Christmas, but what are the real chances of a White Christmas?

In Britain, wintery weather is more likely between January and March than December.

Snow falls on average about 5 days in December, 7.6 days in January, 6.8 days in February and 6 days in March. So in many ways betting on a White Christmas is a long shot.

It wasn’t always that way though. Waking up to a White Christmas was more common in the 18th and 19th centuries.

White Christmas Odds 2023

So what’s the chance of a White Christmas this year? Well, the British Met Office tweets the outlook for the Christmas period, and we’ll update this page with their latest announcements below.

If you fancy a flutter on whether snowflakes will cover the ground this Christmas Day, unfortunately most bookies have not opened the market yet.

We will update the odds for a white Christmas in various UK cities when they become available: Aberdeen (Airport), Glasgow (Airport), Edinburgh (Airport), Newcastle (Airport), Birmingham (Airport), Belfast (Airport), London (City Airport), Liverpool (Airport).

At least Santa is pretty much guaranteed a White Christmas up at the North Pole, but as for the rest of us… well, perhaps we’ll have to keep dreaming.

Win £1 Million with Betfred’s White Christmas Offer

Betfred Christmas Draw: Celebrate Christmas with a chance to win £1 Million! This festive season, if there’s snow at London Heathrow on Christmas morning, you could be one of the lucky winners.

Getting started is simple. Opt-in at Betfred to secure your initial entry. Then, for every £1 betslip or more, gain an additional entry – you can collect up to 100 entries in total.

Your bets can span across any Sportsbook market, Lotto draw, or Virtual Sport. Whether it’s your regular weekend Football accumulator, a Lucky 15 on Horse Racing, or a wager on the Irish Lotto results, every betslip totaling £1 or more counts. Just ensure your bets are placed and settled between November 10th and 11:59 PM on December 24th, 2023.

Should snow cover London Heathrow Airport Weather Station at 09:00 on Christmas morning, all qualifying entries will be entered into the Betfred grand prize draw. Five fortunate participants will each win a whopping £1 Million to ring in the New Year.

And if snow doesn’t fall on Christmas day, don’t worry! Betfred is offering a second chance to win big if ‘it snows goals’ this festive season. Discover more about this opportunity here.

So, here’s hoping for a white Christmas – let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Terms and Conditions Apply

What will you receive?

  • If snow is lying at London Heathrow Airport Weather Station at 9am on 25th December 2023, five customers will be drawn at random and each win £1,000,000 cash.
  • You can win a maximum of 1 prize from this promotion.
When will you be credited?

  • The draw will take place and the five winners will be contacted by telephone, using the number(s) on your Betfred account, between 27th December 2023 and 14th January 2024. By opting in to this promotion, you agree for Betfred to contact you for this sole purpose.
  • Winners must accept the prize and may be required to provide additional information to process the prize payment.
  • We will attempt to contact winners for 3 days. If we are unable to make contact within 3 days, the prize will be forfeited and reallocated to the next entry drawn.
  • The prize will be awarded within 7 days of accepting.
Are there any other limitations you should know about?

  • Definition of snow lying: Snow lying is measured at 09:00 UK Time on 25th December 2023 at London Heathrow Weather Station. Snow lying is determined using data and a measurement protocol provided by the MET Office and verified by WeatherNet, a leading UK independent weather analytics company.
  • In the highly unlikely event that data is unavailable from London Heathrow, WeatherNet will use data from an alternative representative nearby weather station.
  • By opting in to this promotion you consent to us using your First Name and Town or County for Marketing purposes.
  • In the event of a dispute, the decision of the Betfred Management Team will be final and based on our Terms and Conditions.
  • Betfred reserves the right to exclude certain customers from this offer at our discretion due to internal risk policies and/or account staking restrictions. Customers will be notified separately if we have placed restrictions on their account.

What Defines A White Christmas?

But just what is a White Christmas? For children of all ages everywhere, a White Christmas means a complete covering of snow which falls and settles on Christmas day in the morning – snowman building, snowball fights, and of course sledging.

However, the definition most widely used, particularly by the bookies, is at least one snowflake falling in a specific location during the 24 hours of December 25th at a specified location – quite often at British Airports.

Some bookmakers allow you to bet on snowfall at various airports around the country. Generally, you can pick from London Heathrow, Edinburgh (Airport), Manchester (Airport), Belfast (Airport) and many more.

So can anybody predict a White Christmas? Well, weather forecasters can forecast if snow is likely on any given Christmas Day up to five days before with a pretty good level of accuracy.

You can check out the long-range weather forecast for the UK here.

In statistical terms, a snowflake has fallen somewhere in the UK on Christmas day 38 times in the last 52 years, a 73% success rate for a White Christmas.

That means we can expect almost three-quarters of all Christmases to be white – technically!

How Often Does It Snow On Christmas Day?

But a single snowflake doesn’t really make a White Christmas any more than a single swallow makes a summer, and snow lying on the ground on Christmas Day is much rarer.

There’s only been a widespread covering of snow in the UK (40% coverage) four times in the last 51 years.

The last full White Christmas was Christmas 2010 and it was a record-breaker. There was snow on the ground at 83% of UK weather stations – the highest amount ever recorded.

Mind you, there seems to have been more Christmas snow around in recent years anyway.

We also had a white Christmas in 2009 with 13% of Met Office stations recording snow floating to the ground, and 57% reporting it lying deep and crisp and even.

On Average Snow Falls On 5 days In December!

Of course recent climatic change has brought higher than average temperatures and this generally reduces the odds of a white Christmas.

However, on the other side of the snowman, we’re also experiencing what is beginning to be known as ‘weird weather’.

So with short freak weather occurrences, anything can and probably will happen.

Bookmakers Definition

Defining what makes a White Christmas is all about fresh snowfalls. Payouts on Xmas snow are based on the odds of the white stuff actually coming down, rather than just lying around from previous snowfalls and then turning to slush.

In 2010 the snowy weather meant that bookies were inundated with White Christmas bets as the odds were pretty good.

Scotland’s main cities were odds-on for snow falling, Birmingham and Manchester were evens, and London was a 5/4 against.

It was a snowy nightmare for the bookies with many expecting a million-pound payout. And for one lucky punter it looked as though all his Christmases had come at once.

Graphic designer, Cliff Bryant woke on Christmas morning to find that all 24 locations he’d punted on seeing snowfall that morning had a dusting of the white stuff.

Cliff was looking at a £7 million payout for his White Christmas Acca. However, when Cliff tried to claim his winnings he was told that his accumulator shouldn’t have been accepted by the cashier and his bet was invalid.

Accumulators are where you link a series of single bets into one big bet. However, many bookmakers prohibit these types of wagers on the White Christmas market.

Instead of making millions from his wager, Cliff won just £31.78p. Not quite the gold, frankincense and myrrh he was expecting.

Important Information

Terms and Conditions for Snow on Christmas Day bets vary from bookmaker to bookmaker – please check terms before your placing a bet. Any odds stated on this page are correct at the time of publishing.

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Why Does It Snow?

Snow forms when water vapour in the atmosphere condenses into ice crystals and then falls to the ground.

For snow to occur, there must be moisture present in the atmosphere. This moisture can come from various sources, such as evaporation from bodies of water, like oceans, lakes, or rivers.

Snow forms when the air temperature is below freezing (0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit).

At these temperatures, water vapour in the air undergoes a phase change from a gas to a solid directly, skipping the liquid phase.

In order for ice crystals to form, they need something to freeze onto. These nucleation sites can be tiny particles or ice nuclei in the atmosphere, such as dust or other microscopic particles.

Ice nuclei provide a surface for water vapour to condense and freeze onto, initiating the formation of ice crystals.

Once ice crystals begin to form, they can grow as they collide with other ice crystals. This process continues as the ice crystals fall through the cold atmosphere.

As ice crystals grow, they can take on a variety of intricate and symmetrical shapes, which we recognise as snowflakes.

The specific shape of a snowflake depends on the temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions it encounters during its descent.

When enough ice crystals have grown and accumulated, they become heavy enough to fall to the ground as snow.

What Temperature Does It Snow?

Snow can form at temperatures below freezing, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).

However, the exact temperature at which snow will occur depends on various factors, including humidity levels, atmospheric conditions, and the presence of ice nuclei (particles that promote the freezing of water droplets).

Snow can even occur at temperatures slightly above freezing if other conditions are favourable.

Generally, colder temperatures increase the likelihood of snowfall, but it’s not the only factor at play.

At What Temperature Does Snow Melt?

The temperature at which snow melts depends on various factors, including the composition of the snow, the air temperature, and the presence of any impurities or substances that can affect the melting point.

In general, snow begins to melt when the air temperature rises above the freezing point, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).

However, the rate at which snow melts can vary depending on conditions.

Direct sunlight can significantly accelerate the melting of snow, even if the air temperature is slightly below freezing.

Sunlight provides additional heat energy that can raise the temperature of the snow surface, causing it to melt faster.

Snow on the ground can provide insulation which can slow down the melting process, especially if the snowpack is deep.

At higher altitudes, the air pressure is lower, which can affect the melting point of snow. Snow may melt at a slightly lower temperature at higher elevations compared to lower elevations.

This is why, in some places, the snow doesn’t melt even though the sun is shining, and in others it just melts as soon as it hits the ground!