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Will it Snow in the UK on Christmas Day 2021?

When most people think of Christmas, snow always springs to mind. Christmas films, cards and songs are all full of snow. Many people literally dream of having a white Christmas.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that it will snow on Christmas and in many parts of the UK it seems highly unlikely. However, this doesn’t stop thousands of people from placing a bet on whether there will be a white Christmas.

Snow Statistics in the UK

Before rushing into white Christmas betting, it is worth taking some time to explore the relevant facts and figures. In the UK, snow is more likely to fall between January and March than in December. On average, snow falls on roughly 5 days in December, 7.6 days in January, 6.8 days in February and 6 days in March. When looked at this way, you may think that there is no point at all in betting on a white Christmas.

Furthermore, you begin to question where the image of a white Christmas came from. Snow on Christmas day was actually far more common in the 18th and 19th centuries and a white Christmas was even more likely before the calendar was changed in 1752 and Christmas was brought forward 12 days.

Unfortunately, the scarcity of snow on Christmas day is another side effect of recent climate change that has resulted in higher than average temperatures. However, there has also been an increase in short freak weather occurrences, so a white Christmas is far from impossible. Furthermore, the betting odds on a white Christmas are surprisingly short, implying that it is more likely than these numbers suggest.

How the Bookmakers Define a White Christmas

While we may love the idea of waking up on Christmas morning and seeing a thick carpeting of snow out of the window, for the purpose of winning a bet, not much snow is needed at all.

For example, at William Hill those who have bet on a white Christmas will win if British Weather Services verifies that “snow has fallen at the nominated location at any time during the 24 hours of the 25th December.” This means that just one snowflake needs to fall at the specified location on Christmas day for the bet to win. While it may not be enough to build a snowman, it is all you need to win a bet.

Bet at William Hill and get £30 in free bets!
*New customers using Promo code H30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds ½ (1.5), free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. Full T&Cs apply. 18+. Play responsibly.

At the time of writing this post William Hill allows you to bet on snow on Christmas Day at several different airports, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Belfast, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Dublin, Cardiff, Gatwick and London. Of course, snow is more likely in the north and you will see the odds becoming progressively longer as you work your way down south.

Predicting a White Christmas

Before placing your bets, you are sure to check the weather forecast. As we all know, weather forecasting doesn’t seem to be an exact science, but they are becoming more and more accurate. Weather forecasters can predict if snow is likely up to five days in advance, so it is a good idea to start checking from around December 22nd.

If you are interested in statistics then you will be pleased to hear that a snowflake has fallen somewhere in the UK on Christmas Day 38 times in the last 52 years, i.e., on 73% of Christmas Days. This means that nearly three quarters of Christmases in the UK meet the definition of a white Christmas.

However, if you are hoping for enough snow to make a snowman, have a snowball fight, or go sleighing, then you are likely to be disappointed. There has only been a widespread covering of snow in the UK (40% coverage) four times in the last 51 years. The last time there was a really white Christmas was in 2010 when there was snow on the ground at 83% of the UK’s weather stations, the most ever recorded.

That year, a huge number of white Christmas bets were placed at UK gambling sites. At the time, the odds suggested that snow was likely in Scotland’s main cities, the odds were roughly even for Manchester and Birmingham, and in London the odds were slightly longer. Bookmakers were becoming concerned, worried that they were set to lose a lot of money.

In fact, it was looking like it was going to be a fantastic Christmas for one punter. A graphic designer called Cliff Bryant woke up on Christmas morning to discover that it had snowed in all 24 locations that he had bet on, and he was in line to collect a massive £7 million for his White Christmas accumulator. However, when he tried to claim the winnings, he was told that the cashier should not have accepted the accumulator and his bet was invalid.

Accumulators allow punters to combine multiple bets into one. However, most bookmakers do not allow them on white Christmas bets. In the William Hill terms and conditions it clearly states “single bets only are accepted” on the white Christmas market. It meant that instead of becoming a multi-millionaire, the bookmaker refused the 7 million payout and Bryant won just £31.78.

Odds for a White Christmas 2021

If you have a look at the Met Office’s long-range forecast for this Christmas, it states, “Rain may turn wintry at times on the northern edge, most likely across central and northern areas, and mainly over higher ground. Milder temperatures more likely in the south, with brighter colder conditions in the north with some wintry showers.”

This suggests that there is a chance of snow in the north, but it seems highly unlikely down south. If you have a look at the odds on offer, they seem to suggest the same thing. Below you can see the odds available at William Hill at the time of writing.

White Christmas Odds UK 2021

City (Airport) Best Odds
Edinburgh 4/9
Glasgow 4/9
Leeds (Leeds-Bradford Airport) 5/6
Newcastle 5/6
Manchester 5/4
Belfast 5/4
Liverpool 6/4
Birmingham 2/1
Bristol 3/1
Dublin 3/1
Cardiff 3/1
Gatwick 3/1
London (City Airport) 7/2
*New customers using Promo code H30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds ½ (1.5), free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. Full T&Cs apply. 18+. Play responsibly.

As you can see, those in Scotland seem to have quite a good chance of enjoying a white Christmas. However, remember you can place these bets no matter where you are, so whether or not it snows where you live this Christmas, you will hopefully still be able to enjoy some winning bets.

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