Will we have a white Christmas in Cambridgeshire this year?

Will Cambridgeshire have a white Christmas in 2021?

Will Cambridgeshire have a white Christmas in 2021? Pictured is Ely Cathedral in a winter wonderland. Picture; SARA FOOTER - Credit: Archant

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas with your family? We’d all love to open our curtains on December 25 to a winter wonderland – but what are the chances of snow falling in Cambridgeshire this year? 

While movies, advent calendars and Christmas cards will all be decorated with snow scenes, will we actually see any ourselves? 

Will it snow on Christmas Day in Cambridgeshire? 

Cambridgeshire white Christmas 2021

Snow arriving in Cambridgeshire fields. Picture: Supplied/Ross Chapman - Credit: Supplied/Ross Chapman

The Met Office has said over the years that a white Christmas is defined as ‘one snowflake to be observed falling in the 24 hours of December 25 somewhere in the UK’. 

But what are the odds from the bookmakers this year? 

Well, we contacted both the Met Office and AccuWeather earlier this week to find out whether they could forecast any flurries of snow falling for the big day this year in Cambridgeshire. 

Are you ready for the answers? Here they are. 

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Firstly, Grahame Madge who works for the Met Office, said: “It is far too out to provide a deterministic forecast for Christmas. 

“We normally work within a two-week horizon, so five weeks is still well beyond what meteorological science can support. 

“Beyond our forecasting window we look at the big global drivers of weather and on balance we think there is a stronger signal for the winter period as a whole to be warmer than average and possibly slightly wetter than average. 

“That hints at the fact that snow is less likely (but cannot be ruled out). 

He added: “The UK winter is most likely to see a mix of warm and colder spells and snow, particularly in inland East Anglia. 

“There always remains a chance, although it’s not the favoured outcome at present.” 

So, is it that likely for Cambridgeshire this year? Or will we have to wait another 365 days in hope? 

Cambridgeshire white Christmas 2021

Snow hit Cambridgeshire in early 2018 making it one of the coldest winters in recent years. - Credit: Ina Carter

Senior forecaster at AccuWeather, John Gresiak, believes the odds of a white Christmas in Cambridgeshire this year are less than 50/50. 

“The odds in your area in any given year are less than 50/50,” he said. 

“Snow is relatively rare in December but the odds for snow do increase for the January through March time. 

“In any given year, it depends upon the overall weather pattern and whether or not cold air and moisture can come together at just the right time.” 

He added: “For this year, it appears that there will be a period of cooler weather and the potential for at least localised snowfall later this week and this weekend. 

“The pattern will remain on the cold side through about December 3, but then a milder, more settled pattern from December 4-10. 

“There will probably be more back and forth exchanges between cold and mild for the rest of December, but again, the odds of having cold air and moisture present at the same time around Christmas are not horribly good. 

“In the longer term, the overall odds for white Christmases in the coming years will probably decrease due to climate change and the associated warming.” 

Looks like we will be waiting then! 

When was the last white Christmas in Cambridgeshire? 

Cambridgeshire white Christmas 2021

The Lamb & Flag pub in Welney covered in snow. - Credit: Facebook/Lamb & Flag Welney

The last widespread white Christmas in the UK was in 2010 – nearly 12 years ago! And yes, it did actually reach Cambridgeshire! 

There was also a white Christmas in 2009, when 13% of weather stations recorded snow or sleet falling, and 57% reported snow lying on the ground. 

Do you remember the snow? - here’s some photos! 

Pictured in our archives are images of snow from all around Cambridgeshire – Ely, Wisbech and Welney to name a few. 

Cambridgeshire white Christmas 2021

When the snow started to settle in Wisbech. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Supplied

Cambridgeshire white Christmas 2021

A snow scene in March, Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire white Christmas 2021

Snow arriving across fields in Cambridgeshire. Picture: Supplied/Ross Chapman - Credit: Supplied/Ross Chapman

Cambridgeshire white Christmas 2021

Ely Cathedral covered in snow. Picture; SARA FOOTER - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire white Christmas 2021

Winter weather gave St Ives a chill. - Credit: Archant

The Met Office believes the white Christmas in 2010 was an extremely unusual event, as there was not only snow on the ground at 83% of weather stations (the highest amount ever recorded) but snow or sleet also fell at 19% of stations. 

Snow did hit Cambridgeshire towards the start of 2018, making it one of the coldest winters in recent years.

There were also some snow flurries recorded by the Met Office on Christmas Day in 2020.

From what we’ve heard from the bookmakers about the odds for a white Christmas this year, it may be a couple more years yet before us Cambridgeshire residents get to experience those magical scenes that we all keep dreaming of. 

If you have any photos of when the snow settled in Cambridgeshire over the years, email katie.woodcock@archant.co.uk.

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