How likely is a white Christmas in Sunderland for 2021? Here's what the Met Office has to say
Snow during the festive period makes it all the more magical – but how likely is it that we will get a white Christmas in Sunderland this year?
Despite the link between Christmas and the white stuff, for most parts of the UK the festive season comes at the beginning of the time where we are most likely to see snow.
This means there is often a bigger chance of snow between January and March, rather than in December.
The last widespread white Christmas in the UK was back in 2010, which Met Office forecasters said was “extremely unusual” due to climate change bringing higher temperatures, therefore reducing the chance of a white Christmas.
Technically, 2020 was the last white Christmas in the UK, with 6% of weather stations recording snow falling – but only 4% of these stations reported any snow lying on the ground.
So, how likely are we to see snow in Sunderland this Christmas?
The Met Office says its forecasters cannot accurately predict snow until at least five days before Christmas Day – meaning Monday, December 20 is our earliest reliable chance at finding out.
“Since 1960, around half of the years have seen at least 5% of the network record snow falling on Christmas Day,” the Met Office continued.
"This means we can probably expect more than half of all Christmas Days to be a 'white Christmas'.
"However, the Dickensian scene of widespread snow lying on the ground on Christmas Day is much rarer.
"There has only been a widespread covering of snow on the ground four times since 1960, in 1981, 1995, 2009 and 2010."
Met Office forecasters say that white Christmases were more frequent in the 18th and 19th centuries, even more so before the change of calendar in 1752 which effectively brought Christmas Day back by 12 days.
So while a white Christmas may not necessarily be on the cards for 2021, here’s hoping that some Christmas magic can bring a small dusting of festive frost to our December 25.