Technically, the UK did have a white Christmas in 2022 – although for most areas temperatures were too mild to see any snow.
The Met Office recorded either sleet or snow falling at five of its weather stations across the UK, with Edinburgh one of three in Scotland and another two in Northern Ireland.
Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan said: “Officially it was a white Christmas but, of course, a lot of people think of those perfect deep-snow Christmas card scenes and actually we didn’t really see any snow settle at lower levels.
“What we define a white Christmas as is just a few snowflakes falling, even if it’s mixed with rain, so it’s a technical white Christmas but, for most places, particularly in England and Wales, it was too mild.”
In Scotland, the forecaster recorded snow at Edinburgh’s Gogarbank weather station, Loch Glascarnoch in Ross and Cromarty, and Altnaharra in Sutherland.
Across the Irish Sea, snow fell in Glennane, County Armagh, and at Lough Fea in Londonderry.
Showers of sleet turned to snow
“Most of the day was too mild for snow and the showers were falling for rain, but in the evening it got colder and we started to see those showers turn to sleet and then to snow,” said the meteorologist.
But for most places, the snow came too late to declare a white Christmas.
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“We’ve got snow on the ground across Cumbria, quite widely across Scotland this morning [Boxing Day], even at lower levels,” Mr Morgan added.
“If the colder air had been a little bit earlier to arrive then it would have been a white Christmas, but it’s certainly a white Boxing Day for some of us.”
When did the UK last have ‘proper’ snow at Christmas?
Last Christmas, some 6% of Met Office stations recorded snowfall, but just 1% had snow lying on the ground. In 2017, some 11% of sites recorded snow falling.
However, forecasters have to go back to 2010 to find a December 25 when people would remember waking up to snow on the ground.
On Christmas Day this year, the Met Office recorded a high of 12.7C in Chertsey, Surrey, while Loch Glascarnoch recorded the lowest temperature of 2.7C.