White Christmas odds are set to shorten for the UK and Ireland, as forecasters have begun to uncover the snow potential for some areas on Christmas Day.
Betting on the chances of a White Christmas has become a ritual in the UK and Ireland, with the islands' weather capable of doing absolutely anything on Christmas Day.
We've had white-outs, hurricanes, frost, floods, and balmy temperatures, so it's safe to say predicting any weather around here is an art-form, nevermind the odds of snow on Christmas Day.
So what are the odds of that White Christmas where you are? Well, if you're in Scotland, according to the betting, you've a great chance! But we've done our homework and think there's a better bet at the odds.
The White Christmas bet hasn't come in for Dublin, Ireland since 2004, but Irish Weather Online, a group of expert weather analysts, have posted an intriguing long range forecast.
"...The theme is generally one of strong winds, slowly falling temperatures and increasing chances for snow in the mix. The coldest period appears to be well-timed for 24th-26th of December, but while that may set a festive mood, it may also be a problem for people with travel plans. Eastern England could be harder hit by any wintry weather in this scenario so if you're travelling through London that might become an issue too." - Irish Weather Online, December 10
Dublin Airport is available at 6/1 to have snowfall on Christmas Day, and London (taken from Heathrow Airport) is 5/1. At this stage in the White Christmas betting stakes, they could be good bets to have, and it's worth considering one of England's most easterly cities Norwich at 5/1, and the most north-easterly, Newcastle, at 4/1.
Canada's official weather organisation describes a perfect Christmas Day as one with snow on the ground, and snow falling, and in fact, that's what White Christmas betting calls for too - almost.
The first thing to remember about the rules of White Christmas betting are that snow must actually fall on Christmas Day. So snowflakes must come out of the sky in that 24hr period - snow that is already on the ground when the clock strikes midnight does not count.
The second thing is the location of the falling snow; bookmakers tend to use airports, but some use other weather stations, like Coral. They give odds of a White Christmas at a range of locations that are not airports.
The small town of Filton (10/1), outside Bristol, for example, or the southern peninsula of Mount Batten in Plymouth (10/1), and Watnall (5/1), home of the Nottingham meteorological centre, in pretty much the centre of England.
In the UK, snow is actually more likely to fall between January and March, December 25 being the very beginning of the potential snowfall period, so it's a bit of a miracle there's ever a White Christmas.
The UK's Met Office has seen a snowflake fall somewhere in the UK on Christmas day 38 times in the last 54 years, the last widespread White Christmas coming in 2010, with snow on the ground at a record 83% of weather stations, and 19% recording further snowfall.
However, there was also snowfall at 10% of the UK's weather stations on December 25, 2015. All those states include Northern Ireland, but the Republic of Ireland's official White Christmas is measured at Dublin airport, which really doesn't get a lot of snow.
Since records began in 1941, just 12 Christmas Days have seen snowfall in Dublin, the last coming in 2004, though snow has fallen countrywide as recently as 2015, and last year it was falling right up until the week of Christmas itself. Doh!
If you're not convinced about having a bet on a White Christmas where you are just yet, the Met Office says it can accurately predict whether snow will fall five days out, so perhaps wait until December 20?
Generally, the Irish equivalent can do the same, though the three-day forecast is the most reliable, and Irish Weather Online's ever-popular Facebook forecasts will be following the chances of a White Christmas daily.
We also found willigetawhitechristmas.com when looking at the odds of a White Christmas at the start of betting, all the way back in October. It presently gives Dublin, London, Newcastle and Norwich a 25% chance of snow on Christmas Day.
Canada loves snow, snow loves Canada, so there are odds on a White Christmas in Canada's major cities too, but Vancouver is the only centre that's not odds-on.
You can get 11/10 about there being snow in Vancouver on Christmas Day, but it's also 1/25 that Winnipeg Airport gets snow, Canada's weather forecasters making it a 98% chance that snow will fall there that day.
The odds are very short on White Christmases throughout Canada, with chances of snow on Christmas Day being more than 70% in 25 of the 45 major towns and cities, and only under 50% in six.
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