Bookies have slashed the odds for a
white Christmas in Kent today after declaring: "It’s on!"
William Hill said it’s offering the
shortest odds it has ever posted this early at 2-1 - and they’re
unlikely to last the day.
Canterbury is one of the 16 weather
stations around the country where if a snowflake falls within the
24 hours of Christmas Day it is officially ruled a white
William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams
said: "We get a fax on Boxing Day morning telling us where there
has been a meteorological white Christmas and Canterbury looks like
it’ll be one of the places.
"This is the shortest price we’ve ever offered this early and that’s because a white Christmas is on this year.
"On Boxing Day last year we were
offering 8-1, that shortened to 6-1 by early November, then last
week after the big freeze it went down to 4-1, then 3-1 and
Local forecasters are also
predicting a downfall this Christmas.
Kent weather expert Shaun Maltby, who runs kent-weather.co.uk, said: "To give a general summary of the upcoming cold spell - strong Arctic winds push down from the north leading to very, very cold temperatures right across the UK.
"Snow would be likely across
Scotland and the North-West but all areas should see snow at some
point by the weekend. And yes, this SHOULD include Kent.
"What makes this a ‘once in a
lifetime’ event is that this setup is being bought about by what is
called a polar portex. Sounds scary doesn’t it?
"Well, in the most simplest of
terms it is very similar to a low pressure system we see affecting
the UK bringing strong winds and heavy rain but the characteristics
are somewhat different for a polar vortex.
"It also cannot be called a ‘polar
low’ as some would expect as these are totally different.
"Polar lows are much smaller then
polar vortices - around 600 miles in size and are really only
detectable using satellite imagery to give approximately 12 hours
"A polar vortex is seen on forecast
model data at the range of 500hPa, or around 18,000 feet above the
surface, and can be forecast days in advance with some confidence,
unlike a polar low.
"As the term ‘polar’ suggests, a
polar vortex originates in the polar regions.
"The reason why this is causing so
much interest for the UK and for the vast majority of weather
enthusiasts is that generally, polar vortices remain in and around
the North and South poles, for example Siberia.
"This week is pretty rare in the
fact that a polar vortex gets displaced and slips south over the UK
on the strong Arctic winds. An event that appears not to have
happened since 1955!
"Today’s updated forecast will be
issued into Wednesday, and then will fall to a 24 hour update there
after as the cold snap begins to take hold in time for