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Met Office declares a white Christmas as further snowfall predicted

Last month thousands of people in the north east of England and Scotland were left without power for nearly two weeks after Storm Arwen brought down power lines.   Snow fell in Scotland and northern England overnight and early on Christmas Day, leading the Met Office to officially declare a white Christmas.

If a snowflake falls anywhere in the UK during the 24 hours of Christmas Day this is technically a white Christmas, with 38 of the past 54 Christmases meeting this criteria.

But a picture-postcard Victorian snow scene is much more unusual.

Far fewer Christmases have seen snow on the ground at more than 40 per cent of weather stations on Christmas morning.

This has only happened four times since 1960, in 1981, 1995, 2009 and 2010.

Snow is more commonly seen in the UK in the first three months of the year than in December.

Snow or sleet fall on an average 3.9 days in December, compared to 5.3 days in January, 5.6 days in February and 4.2 days in March.

Overall warmer temperatures due to climate change have also cut the chances of a widespread white Christmas, the Met Office says.

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