We don’t often get what is dubbed a ‘white Christmas’ here in the UK, but there hasn’t been as much talk of one potentially gracing us with its presence on the big day itself as there has been in 2021.
Much to the delight – or to the bah humbugs amongst us, dismay – of the general public, the Met Office’s advance forecasting for the festive period did originally predict that much of the North, including here in Greater Manchester, would actually be seeing a covering of snow on Christmas Day for the first time since 2010.
2010 is widely-known as being the last widespread ‘white Christmas’, with 83% of weather stations across the UK reporting snow on the ground on 25 December.
Of course, as is always expected with the UK weather, things don’t tend to stay one way for long, and now the forecast does look a little different than it previously did for the next few days – although, there is still the possibility for a dusting of snow in some places.
So, will it snow after all then? If not, what’s actually in store for us this Christmas?
Here’s the current forecast.
According to the Met Office’s latest-published ‘Christmas weather forecast’, most of the county will experience an “unsettled” Christmas this year, with the greatest chance of some snow coming for those over high ground in northern England and Scotland.
At present though, cloud, rain, and fog has taken charge over much of the UK.
The Met Office says that spells of rain will push towards the North East, bringing “an unsettled spell of weather” that will continue through the Christmas period, and as the initial band of rain bumps into colder air over higher Northern ground and over Scotland, there will be a wintry mix of rain, sleet, and snow in some areas.
And today will see further showery rain moving north-eastwards across the UK, with colder and drier conditions over the North and Scotland.
On Christmas Day itself, much of the UK will sadly see continued rain.
However, according to the Met Office, further North – where “the boundary between milder and colder air is” – there is a chance of some snow, again, primarily over high ground.
While this exact location is still uncertain, however, forecasters are saying it is possible that the Peak District, Pennine areas – which covers parts of Greater Manchester – and then the Southern Uplands later are “the most likely” to see snow.
Further north, in the cold air, skies will be clearer with sunshine and lower daytime temperatures.
“The Christmas period will be a fairly unsettled spell across the UK this year,” explained Chris Bulmer – Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office.
“Many will see wet and cloudy conditions as mild air dominates over the South and West of the UK. Where this mild air meets colder air trying to sink South, there is a chance of some Christmas snow, this looking most likely over the Pennines, however exactly where this boundary will be is still uncertain.
“In the far North, cold conditions and clearer skies will bring a more wintry feel [and] for many areas, a brisk easterly wind will bring a notable wind chill.”
Following recent reports that said ‘a snowbomb’ could drop be dropping up to 1cm of snow in the North West within just an hour on 27 December, some weather forecasters are now predicting that this new storm could also batter the UK shortly after Christmas.
Although not officially declared by the Met Office as of yet, Storm Corrie would be the third storm of the winter season, following the recent Storm Arwen and Storm Barra.
Storm Corrie would potentially bring with it rain and snow.
Featured Image – Geograph (David Dixon) | Visit Manchester
Greater Manchester bracing for cold snap with temperatures set to plummet to -5°C this week
Brits are being told to prepare for a cold snap across the country this week, with Greater Manchester set to see temperatures plummet to -5°C.
After what has been an uncharacteristically mild autumn for the UK, with temperatures so high for the time of year that 2022 is on track to be the warmest year on record, forecasters at the Met Office are now warning of a Arctic chill in the coming days – which is expected to sweep the country, and bring with it below-average temperatures for December.
As winter settles in and the cold begins to bite, easterly winds are expected to shift to the north this week, and a yellow snow warning has even been put in place for Wednesday, which is likely to just affect Scotland and potentially some of the northernmost parts of England.
The Met Office says this yellow snow warning may cause disruption to road, bus, and train journeys.
Across the Greater Manchester region though, while snow is not forecast, we are set to see sub-zero temperatures set in from Wednesday onwards.
Thursday is expected to be the coldest day of the week.
Speaking ahead of the cold snap arriving in a few days, Alex Burkill – Meteorologist at the Met Office – said: “At the moment we have an easterly flow and as such our winds are coming from the east and that is a cold direction, and it is cold out.
“However, from Tuesday onwards we are going to get a northerly flow, so our winds coming from the north, that is Arctic air leading to our temperatures, will be dropping even further as we go through this week.
“It’s going to turn even colder and feel even colder still, with temperatures well below average for the time of year, both by day and by night.”
While -5°C is the lowest temperature to expect across Greater Manchester, Mr Burkill added that in other parts of the UK, temperatures overnight into Thursday would drop to -7°C or -8°C, and maybe even colder.
Forecasters predict the cold weather could last for most of the week, as the northerly flow of cold air will linger.
There may be some showers, the Met Office says, but it will be largely dry and cold.
It will be a few degrees above freezing for the rest of the country until the cold snap arrives on Wednesday, with daytime temperatures predicted to be around 8°C or 9°C, dropping to 5°C or 6°C as the week progresses.
The Manchester Christmas Markets have listened to feedback and gone a bit more local overall, so you’d expect everyone would be pleased – but of course they’re not.
One scathing and lengthy review on Tripadvisor said: “Went on a day trip by coach to the Christmas Market, having been four years ago and LOVED it…sorry, but the difference between that experience and this year’s is like night and day.
“First of all, whose daft idea was it to have the market scattered across nine different locations? People who aren’t familiar with Manchester won’t know where all these locations are!
“The first part of the market I came across was a collection of food stalls, the bulk of them not displaying prices – is that legal? – and the entire set-up looked like a building site. No festive atmosphere at all, and sadly this continued the further I walked.
“Gone was the wonderful variety of Christmas ornaments and gifts, replaced by food and drink stalls and, strangely, a stall selling wooden garden furniture. There is nothing remotely Christmassy about an overpriced Kingdom of Sweets stall, and when I came across a second one several minutes later I gave up and killed time in a Wetherspoons until my coach left to take everyone home.
“I wasn’t the only person let down by the experience, either; when an elderly lady boarded the coach on its way home, she was heard to mutter, “Well, I’d have been ready to go home three hours ago.” I’m writing this trip off as a learning experience – and what I learned is that I won’t be going to this market again next year.”
A parent who visited said: “Where to start. This was my families first and last visit to Manchester, The Christmas Market felt very poorly planned with stalls not in one area. People kept knocking into my children manners seem to be missing in Manchester as a whole.”
Someone else wrote in a one-star review: “Ridiculous prices, paid £6 for a hot dog for my son & was then charges £1 extra for tomato sauce, sorry but that is taking the mick.. usual stores have gone and replaced with food, drink or overpriced large goods. The Christmas feeling just wasn’t there this year :(.”
Another person said: “I visited the Christmas Market at the weekend with a friend and it felt more like a food festival than a Market. No price lists displayed. Utter waste of time. Cheaper to go the ones abroad.”
One reviewer said: “Nothing at all Christmassy, pre-covid they was lovely stalls seeming Christmas ornaments ets, now it’s all good and drink mostly £15 for 2 mugs of hot chocolate, cocktails £9 for a snowball just pure greed, very disappointed, definitely won’t be back this year or in near future.”
Someone else wrote: “All about overpriced food and repetitive stalls. Nothing European about it and not what it once was. £10 for a sausage save your money and try a market in actual Europe.”