Scotland’s weather: Odds slashed on white Christmas

There is a chance of snow in parts of Scotland on Christmas Day. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

There is a chance of snow in parts of Scotland on Christmas Day. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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There could be snow in the north of Scotland as bookmakers have cut the odds on a white Christmas.

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Bookmaker Coral said it has taken a host of bets on a white Christmas, with odds cut to 4-6. Aberdeen is the favourite, followed by Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Meanwhile, in England, mild temperatures could make it the warmest Christmas Day on record, according to forecasters.

Areas in the south are expected to reach 15C (59F), pushing the record of 15.6C (60F) registered in Devon in 1920.

The contrasting weather is the result of Storm Conor, which is pulling mild air behind it as it approaches the north of the UK.

The latest storm is set to follow in the tracks of Barbara which brought travel disruption and power cuts to the north of Scotland on Friday.

Met Office meteorologist Chris Page said: “Because of the wind direction from the south west, Storm Conor brings up some milder air which means temperatures will only drop to lows of 9 (48F) and 10C (50F), making it a very mild start to Christmas day.

“We’ll see some clearer, drier spells in Scotland but the sunshine will be in the south and with south-westerly winds dragging up more mild air we could even see some records broken.

“It could maybe reach 15C which could make it the warmest Christmas day of record in the last 100 years.

“For Scotland though, we could still see a touch of snow.”

Coral company spokesman John Hill said: “We don’t expect there to be snow anywhere across the rest of Great Britain though and punters agree as we have seen more bets for tomorrow being the warmest Christmas Day on record than for there to be snow fall.”

After the some respite from serious weather disruption, the Met Office has issued 11 weather warnings for Boxing Day as Storm Conor takes hold.

The most serious are in place for the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland where winds could push 90mph.

Those areas were worst hit by Storm Barbara, which cut electricity to more than 25,000 homes.

Mr Page said: “As we reach Boxing Day Storm Conor begins to intensify, mainly affecting the far north of Scotland with an amber weather warning in place for wind gusts of 80 to 90mph.

“It’s a windy picture across the rest of the UK but it will be a lot drier on Boxing Day.”

Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee in preparation for the impacts of Storm Conor.

He said: As we see the tail end of Storm Barbara, we are now looking towards Boxing Day and the potential impacts of Storm Conor.

“There has been some disruption to power in areas worst affected by the storm but energy companies have been working hard to restore supplies quickly and have been preparing with extra staff, equipment and welfare facilities in place.

“The Scottish Government’s resilience team has been meeting throughout the past week to monitor the impact of the severe weather and will remain operational through Christmas Day, into Boxing Day, to make sure that the most reliable and relevant information is being communicated to people as early as possible.

“The worst of Storm Conor is once again expected to affect the north of Scotland, the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland, bringing heavy rain and winds of up to 90mph.

“I can assure the travelling public that our transport operators and trunk road operating companies are working hard to keep services and roads running.

However, safety is always our top priority, so we are seeing likely to see disruption to ferries and possibly flights to the islands. It is important to remember that operators do not cancel services lightly.”

READ MORE - Scotland’s weather: Power restored amid warnings of wintry showers

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