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Hopes of a White Christmas dashed as Met Éireann predicts dry December 25

The forecast is good news for travellers undertaking long journeys to join family for the festive break
Stock photo

Stock photo

Ralph Riegel

Ireland's hopes of a white Christmas have been dashed with Met Éireann's long-range forecast indicating settled, dry weather with temperatures slightly above normal for December 25.

While bookmakers did reduce the odds for a white Christmas last week as temperatures across Ireland plummeted, the long-range forecast is now for an Atlantic high pressure zone to dominate Irish weather from Christmas Eve until St Stephen's Day.

The forecast is good news for travellers undertaking long journeys to join family for the festive break with drier conditions than normal for the time of year as even northern areas will have only average rainfall.

Long range forecaster, AccuWeather, concurred with Met Éireann that Christmas week is likely to see cloud and sunshine with the occasional shower.

AccuWeather has predicted temperatures of between 9C and 10C from Christmas Eve to St. Stephen's Day - with Christmas Day likely to see heavier showers than either December 24 or 26.

Higher than normal temperatures are also expected to reduce the risk of ice for Christmas travellers.

Paddy Power bookmakers now rate Ireland as having only an outside chance of a white Christmas.

Both Dublin Airport and Cork Airport are ranked at 6/1 for snow on the morning of December 25.

Belfast Airport has a slightly higher chance of snow at 9/2. However, even in the UK the only place that has a good likelihood of snow for Christmas Day is Aberdeen in the north of Scotland where the bookies are offering snow bets at 11/4.

On average, Ireland has a White Christmas every six years though, if there isn't snowfall on Christmas Day in 2021, it will have been 11 years since Ireland had a true, nationwide December 25 snowfall.

By the traditional measure of a defined depth of snow covering the ground on December 25, Ireland has had nine white Christmases over the past 60 years - 1964, 1970, 1980, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2010.

However, by the measure of any quantity of snow falling anytime over Christmas Day, there have been 17 days since 1961 which rank as a white Christmas - 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1980, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2009 and 2010.

Ireland's last white Christmas in 2010 ranked as one of the most spectacular with up to 27cm of snow.

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