Odds of white Christmas plunge

PROSPECTS of a white Christmas are today looking up as forecasters predict a dramatic next few days and bookmakers cut betting odds.A cold and wintry change to the weather has been forecast over the next few days – raising hopes that snow could be on the way.

PROSPECTS of a white Christmas are today looking up as forecasters predict a dramatic next few days and bookmakers cut betting odds.

A cold and wintry change to the weather has been forecast over the next few days - raising hopes that snow could be on the way.

Meteorologists at the BBC have made the most definite forecast yet - saying there will definitely be snow in northern and western parts of England from Christmas Eve onwards and that it could spread to almost anywhere else in the country.

More conservative estimates have said a drop in temperatures is on the cards for the rest of the week, meaning that Saturday could be the first white Christmas since 1981.


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At the Met Office, weather boffins have forecast a switch from dull and rainy to cold and wintry, which could bring snow and ice with it.

While no definite predictions of snow have been made, the Met Office predicts a maximum temperature of just four degrees on Christmas Day.

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As the big day draws even closer, forecasters at website metcheck.com are becoming less willing to predict the weather and by noon yesterday had removed their Christmas weather section from the website. But a seven- day forecast revealed snow looks unlikely in Suffolk - with much of the day expected to be cloudy with a few sunny spells.

Evening Star weatherman Ken Blowers said there can be no guarantee of a white Christmas in Suffolk, but hinted this year could be our best chance in a long time.

"For the last 13 years there hasn't been a cold Christmas," he said.

"And over the last 20 years most Christmases have been free of snow and have been particularly mild for the time of year. There is a change this year.

"It looks as though the weather in East Anglia will be cold and it will be rare to have a cold Christmas."

Mr Blowers said the forecast cold weather could be blamed on an air stream coming from the arctic. He added that while the north of England could be sure of snow over the next few days, the south could only content itself with a "risk of a few snow showers."

In Woodbridge, Coral bookmakers have cut the odds of a white Christmas from 7/2 last week to the current 7/4 - meaning a £100 bet would bring a return of £275.

Michael Collins, of Coral, said many people saw bookies as providing the most reliable information.

"We had a lot of interest in it last week, last week was the time to bet on it but now the weather forecast is changing you've lost the good odds.

"I think this year could well be the one. The bookies are rarely wrong."

Does it matter if Christmas is white? Does anyone care anymore? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Snow is not actually frozen rain. Snowflakes are made up of tiny ice crystals that form inside clouds and stick together.

All snowflakes are six sided and no two snowflakes have ever been found to be identical.

In 1943 a worker at the Met Office - then known as the Air Ministry - thought he saw snow falling on Christmas Day. The snowflake was preserved for proof. But was later discovered to just have been a tiny white chicken feather.

The winter of 1962/1963 was the coldest in England and Wales since 1740.

The Russian island of Sakhalin has had snow blizzards since Monday. Ferry travel has been stopped and road travel has become hazardous.

San Diego Zoo in America has been helping some African Lions cool down by building snowmen with chunks of meat hidden inside.

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