March 11 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 20, 2013
It is the question weather forecasters get asked every year - yet those hoping for a White Christmas in Norfolk this year might be a little disappointed.
Although snow is expected to fall in some parts of the UK such as the Welsh mountains, the Pennines and the Peak District, meteorologists at the Norwich-based Weatherquest team of forecasters said suggestions that anywhere in East Anglia will get even a sprinkling of the white magic are wide of the mark.
Temperatures, they said, would be nowhere near cold enough for snow to form, with the county expected to record daytime highs of 6c or 7c and night-time lows of approximately 3c - which is about average for this time of year,
Steve Western, duty forecaster at weather service based at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, said there could be a frosty start on Christmas morning with temperatures dropping to about -1c or -2c - which is about the temperature it needs to be for snowflakes to form.
Yet although there will be moisture in the air, Mr Western said that it was more likely the region would just experience rain rather than snow.
Mr Western explained: “It has to be cold and the air temperature has to be close to or around freezing for snow to fall.
“All rain starts as snow in the higher atmosphere but as the snowflakes fall, they melt and turn to raindrops.”
Even if it is technically the right temperature for snow, enough ice crystals have to stick together in order for them to reach the ground as snow.
And even if snowflakes were to fall, the expected higher temperatures mean it would be likely to melt before children get the chance to build a snowman or have a snow-fight with their friends.
However Mr Western still expressed caution Weatherquest’s predictions, saying: “I wouldn’t bet any money on it.”
Yet bookmakers are preparing for people to do exactly that, with Ladbrokes offering 6/1 odds on a White Christmas in Norwich.
And despite Weatherquest’s prediction that a White Christmas will be unlikely, William Hill is offering odds of 7/1 in Norwich or London.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that the bookmakers’ definition of a White Christmas is for just one snowflake to fall anywhere in the city boundary, rather than a blanket covering of snow.
Think you have spotted signs of snow over the Christmas season in Norfolk? Call reporter Andrew Papworth 01553 788681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org