Dreaming of a white Christmas?

As we head closer to December, one of the questions we are often asked as meteorologists is “Will it be a white Christmas?” The first thing to clarify, is what exactly is being asked – do you want to know if anywhere in the UK will see a single snow flake or are you envisaging streets and roofs with a dusting of the white stuff when you wake up on 25 December. 

The cloths of heaven

by Prof Paul Hardaker
Chief Executive of The Institute of Physics

The Institute of Physics (IoP) is the national physical society for both Ireland and the UK, so I often find myself travelling through Dublin airport.  Where I board the plane there are tributes to the famous Irish poets, including a personal favorite, William Butler Yeats.  He wrote a beautiful poem called cloths of heaven, which I have to share with you here:

Weather Facts for Winter 2017 issue theWeather Club Mon, 18/12/2017 - 10:14

1) 30% of solar energy is reflected back into space by clouds, snow, ice etc

greenland ice sheet


2) The diameter of a lightning channel is 1 -2 inches


Swathes of the country were blanketed in snow on 10th and 11th December 2017, particularly Wales and large parts of England, as the Met Office issued yellow and amber warnings to many parts. The heavy snow led to power cuts, disrupted air, rail and road travel and resulted in hundreds of schools in England and Wales staying closed on the 11th.