Have the chances of a London white Christmas ebbed away?

Despite temperature gauges plunging into negative territory of late, above average temperatures in the days before Christmas mean snowfall is not likely, forecasters say.

From this Thursday (21 December) a drier front is set to sweep across the south of England under cloudy skies.

This contrasts with the north of the UK, which has the greatest chance of attracting snowfall on the day the man in the big red suit turns up.

"Over the Christmas period the north-south split looks most likely to begin to break down with unsettled, often windy, conditions developing thereafter, with any snow most likely across the north of the UK," the Met Office said.

Meanwhile, Accuweather is forecasting highs of eight degrees Celsius and lows of six degrees on 25 December. But the good news is Londoners will have brilliant conditions to walk off Christmas lunch excesses with sun and clouds expected in the capital – there is just a 25 per cent chance of any rain.

Those travelling long distances will also be buoyed as forecasters are not expecting foggy conditions to blight next week's great holiday getaway – as has been the case in recent years. While on Thursday there is a 20 per cent chance of thunderstorms in London, this disappears on Friday with cloudy conditions and no rain forecast.

Read more: Fog threatens Monday's Christmas get away

Paddy Power is offering odds of 7/4 on a London white Christmas. This compares with Manchester and Glasgow, which have a higher chance of snow and an even money chance.

Bookies tend to measure a white Christmas by referencing snowfall at the city's major international airport. Where a city (such as London) has more than one international hub, the most popular airport is used.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the odds of a white Christmas are extremely short in Canada with Winnipeg having a 1/33 chance of snow, Montreal at 1/9 chance. Bookies are offering 1/3 odds for a dusting of the white stuff in Toronto.

The UK's last widespread white Christmas was in in 2010 according to the Met Office.

Read more: White Christmas, white goods: AO World's best Black Friday deals

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