UK outlook: Coldest December in 7 years to increase chances for a white Christmas
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 01, 2017, 1:26:42 PM EST
The chilly and wintry end to November has many people wondering what December will have in store across the United Kingdom.
The recent chill is expected to continue for much of the month ahead, resulting in the coldest December in seven years.
A large area of high pressure over the northern Atlantic will act to block storms from the Atlantic and thus keep milder maritime air from reaching the U.K.
Storms reaching the U.K. will be forced to take a more northern track, which will help to usher rounds of cold, polar air southward across the country.
“Below-normal temperatures are expected most days during the first half of the month across the United Kingdom,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.
Normal high temperatures during December range between 6 and 8 C (43 and 47 F) across much of the U.K.
“Unlike the cold outbreak of December 2010, this month is not expected to be nearly as extreme with average temperatures within 1 C (1.8 F) of normal,” added Roys.
December 2010 was an extreme period of weather with temperatures averaging 4-7 C (7-12 F) below normal across most of the country. This was combined with widespread snowfall.
“While shots of cold air continue to descend on the country during the second half of the month, temperatures will actually be close to normal,” said Roys.
While frequent cold weather is expected, precipitation is forecast to be below normal for much of the country due to the infrequent storms and cold, dry air that will settle over the country for extended periods.
Despite below-normal precipitation, snowfall will actually be above normal for the month in many areas.
“The uptick in snowfall will result in the highest chance for a white Christmas from the Scottish Highlands into northern England,” said Roys.
Locations in the Midlands and the higher terrain of Wales may also have a white Christmas.
While a few snowflakes cannot be ruled out elsewhere, it appears unlikely that there will be any lasting snow on the ground due to the more seasonable temperatures expected during the final two weeks of the month.
Any snow that does fall will not last long, as temperatures climb well above freezing each day.
Even though a white Christmas may not be in the forecast, locations across Wales and southern England are expected to have an increase in precipitation.
The stormier weather could result in an uptick in travel delays just in time for the busy holiday travel season.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 6:06:56 PM EST
Severe thunderstorms rumbled across the Deep South on Saturday afternoon, with one storm producing a potential tornado that caused extensive damage in the town of Wetumpka, Alabama.
Midwestern US: Wind-swept snow, treacherous travel to focus from Ohio to Kentucky into Saturday night
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 4:26:38 PM EST
Despite rain starting the weekend across the Ohio Valley, plummeting temperatures will return snow, treacherous travel and frigid conditions through Saturday night.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 4:40:26 PM EST
A storm with feet of snow, blizzard conditions, a significant build-up of ice, tree-breaking winds and plunging temperatures threatens to close roads, cause flight cancellations and disrupt daily activities over a large part of the northeastern United States this weekend.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 4:07:20 PM EST
Superfan Chris Stone has plenty of advice for how to prepare for a freezing cold game.
Brutal cold to endanger those left stranded, without power in wake of immobilizing northeastern US winter storm
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 6:19:20 PM EST
A polar plunge of brutal cold is following this weekend’s blockbuster winter storm, which can threaten lives and complicate travel and cleanup efforts.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 4:05:15 PM EST
While a winter storm churns to their north, residents of the southern United States are facing a severe weather danger on Saturday.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 6:17:39 PM EST
The snowstorm that caused nearly a thousand flights to be canceled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is expected to bring difficult and dangerous travel to a large swath of the Northeast through at least Sunday.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 5:54:35 PM EST
The storm is expected to deliver snow accumulations that could be the largest snowfall of the season in some places.