With the aftermath of Storm Arwen continuing to bring snow and ice for much of Scotland and Northern England, William Hillâ€™s odds on a White Christmas sank to their lowest levels since 2017 - the last time we saw snow fall on Christmas Day.
The MET office forecast of long periods of snowfall and freezing temperatures continues to unfold, with blizzardous conditions hitting Scotland, parts of Northern England and Wales. The sight of snow on the ground comes with a series of shots of arctic air set to sweep the UK in the coming weeks, as the Jet Stream dips southwards. As a result, the UK will continue to see bracing winds, freezing temperatures, and snow, across large swathes of Northern England.
And, as the thoughts of millions of Britons turn to Christmas, particularly with snow on the ground, bookmaker William Hill, which instituted the now festive flurry flutter in the late seventies, has been forced to cut the odds of 12 major UK airports to their lowest collective level since 2017 - the last time parts of the UK enjoyed a technical White Christmas.
The latest developments have seen William Hill update their White Christmas market, with Scottish duo Edinburgh, which is more popular with customers, and Glasgow, which is further North, now trimmed to 3-1 joint favourites, alongside Leeds, to see the fabled blankets of snow we see on millions of Christmas cards every year.
As the cold air spreads in, Leeds Bradford Airport, which is more than 700ft above sea level and holds the record for being the highest airport in the UK, is also 3-1 to be one of the first to record falling snowflakes on Christmas Day.
With Exacta Weather revealing that all things point to the most cold and wintry conditions since 2010, Liverpool and Manchester have been cut to 7-2 and 4-1, from 8-1 and 13-2 respectively.
Newcastle and Birmingham (both 4-1), Belfast (9-2), Dublin and London (both 6-1), and Bristol and Cardiff (both 8-1) complete the set, which is the lowest collective market since the last true White Christmas in the UK in 2017 - with 11 percent of weather stations recording snow falling, but none recorded any on the ground.
The last widespread white Christmas (2010) saw snow on the ground at 83% of weather stations (the highest amount ever recorded), while snow or sleet fell at 19% of stations.
The popular pastime of betting on a white Christmas was in fact instituted by William Hill, and traditionally required a single snowflake to fall on the MET Office operations centre in London.
Nowadays, and with that building long since sold - the national weather service now based in Devon, all that is needed to declare a white Christmas is the observation of a single snowflake falling in the 24 hours of December 25, at one of 12 major UK airports.
William Hill spokesperson Rupert Adams said: â€œIt appears that this latest cold snap has arrived right on time and it is part of a bigger narrative which is expected to play out right up until the big day. The strongest La Nina weather phenomenon since 2010 should ensure a much colder than normal winter. And with each passing week, and snow now on the ground, the case for a White Christmas becomes more convincing.â€
Leeds (Leeds-Bradford Airport) - 3-1
Edinburgh (Airport) - 3-1
Glasgow (Airport) - 3-1
Liverpool (Airport) - 7-2
Newcastle (Airport) - 4-1
Birmingham (Airport) - 4-1
Manchester (Airport) - 4-1
Belfast (Airport) - 9-2
London (City Airport - 6-1
Bristol (Airport) - 8-1
Cardiff (Airport) - 8-1
Dublin (Airport) - 8-1
*odds correct at time of publishing*
To view the full White Christmas market, visit: https://sports.williamhill.com/betting/en-gb/tv-specials/OB_EV21589670/snow-on-christmas-day