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White Christmas not in the cards for most of Britain as mild air clings on

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
December 21, 2017, 10:13:20 AM EST

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Following a spell of frigid conditions across Britain, milder air will hold through the holidays and eliminate chances of a white Christmas in most locations.

Though the first week of December had snow draped across much of the United Kingdom, the pattern change that arrived last weekend will translate to warmer air into Christmas Day.

Britain snow

Snow falls as a woman crosses Oxford Street in London filled with early shoppers on Dec. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

“A large area of high pressure over western Europe is blocking cold air from the Arctic and pulling in milder air from the Atlantic,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister said.

“The more comfortable air that arrived on Sunday is here to stay through Christmas Day,” he said.

Temperatures on Dec. 25 are predicted to be above normal across the whole of the United Kingdom.

UK 12/19

Southern England, including London, can expect temperatures to climb to around 10 C (50 F), whilst northern England readings will be between 7 and 10 degrees Celsius (45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit).

“At this point, we have high confidence that London will not see any snowflakes,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Robert Richards said. “There is a very small chance for Manchester if colder air attempts to sweep out the mild air faster than expected.”

Northern Ireland and the hills of northern England also stand a chance if the scenario Richards gave for Manchester pans out.

The best chance for flakes to fly will be in the Scottish Highlands, where temperatures will range from 0-4 C (32-40 F).

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Though a white backdrop on Christmas Day is not in the cards for most, the mild conditions are good news for those planning travel ahead of the holiday.

The weather between now and Christmas is not expected to lead to widespread travel disruptions.

"The exception will be the mornings into Saturday when winds are calm enough to allow low-hanging cloud or fog to form and threaten to interfere with flights and slow traffic on motorways," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

More than 400 flights were delayed at London's Heathrow Airport amid foggy conditions on Wednesday, according to FlightAware.

"Beyond Saturday morning, winds are expected to increase and sweep away the fog risk," Pydynowski said.

Stormier weather will make a comeback following the visit from Father Christmas.

“It could arrive as early as Boxing Day, resulting in travel impacts across the country,” Leister said.

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