ALREADY dreaming of a white Christmas in Warrington?

As the countdown to the big day continues and temperatures drop, many families will be wondering if there will be a chance to to stretch their legs with a snowball fight after their Christmas dinner.

But while a white Christmas conjures up images of widespread snow on the ground, the Met Office definition of a white Christmas is for one snowflake to be observed falling in the 24 hours of December 25 somewhere in the UK.

The last white Christmas in the UK was in 2010.

Warrington Guardian:

Pic credit: Izzy Casey

White Christmases were more frequent in the 18th and 19th centuries and even more so before the change of calendar in 1752 which effectively brought Christmas day back by 12 days.

The Met Office adds climate change has also brought higher than average temperatures over land and sea and this generally reduced the chances of a white Christmas.

What are the chances this year?

For most parts of the United Kingdom, Christmas is only at the beginning of the period when it's likely to snow.

We are more likely to see snow between January and March than in December with snow or sleet falling an average 3.9 days in December, compared to 5.3 days in January, 5.6 days in February and 4.2 days in March.

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Air temperatures do not need to drop below zero for snow to fall. In fact, Met Office says the heaviest snowfalls tend to occur between 0C and 2C, as the slightly warmer air causes snowflakes to melt and stick together forming bigger heavier flakes.

Warrington Guardian:

Pic credit: Daniel Carter

What's the current forecast?

The current Met Office forecast adds the days before Christmas is likely to be a 'mixture of weather'.

A spokesman added: "There will be spells of settled, drier and colder conditions with overnight frost and fog, but also with a chance of occasional bouts of windy and showery weather bringing a risk of snow.

"By Christmas and through the last week of December there is a more general trend towards unsettled conditions returning, with western areas seeing spells of windy, wet and milder weather, with the best of any drier but colder weather the east and south.

"By the New Year there is very low confidence in the forecast, but there are signs that weather patterns may become slow moving again, possibly bringing a period of colder and at times more settled weather conditions."

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We also checked the 'Will I get a white Christmas' website which currently reckons there's a 50% chance of snow.

Warrington Guardian:

It updates daily so you can check it for yourself here

The site is powered by which has an 180 day forecast.

According to them Christmas Day will be clear with just a 5% chance of cloud but it will feel like -2 degrees

What are the odds?

In the past the Met Office used a single location in the country to define a white Christmas which was the Met Office building in London.

However, with the increase in betting on where we will see a white Christmas, the number of locations have increased and can now include sites such as Buckingham Palace, Edinburgh Castle and even Coronation Street in Manchester.

The latest odds place Aberdeen as the favourite city to get a white Christmas with Ladbrokes placing Liverpool and Manchester at 7/2 and 4/1.