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The UK is in line for a green festive season with any snow confined to northern Scotland thanks to a huge ‘swing of the pendulum’ diverting cold weather to America. The Polar vortex–the body of air circling the Arctic-has plunged southwards across the US triggering a ripple effect across the Atlantic which has headed off any chance of widespread UK Christmas snow.
Britons with a flutter on a festive flurry anywhere other than the Highlands and Glens of Scotland have been warned told ‘better luck next year’.
Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “The big plunge of cold which has hit America is having a knock-on effect on the milder weather we are expecting in the UK over Christmas.
“The weather in the UK is being caused by a dislocated Polar vortex, and a large area of high pressure over the UK bringing this and cold air right across the country.
“We had a taste of this a couple of weeks ago, but it is very unusual for the same thing to happen in the same place at the same time, so as they get the plunge, we are getting something much less wintry.
“It is fair to say that the big winter storm in the US has had a ripple effect, leading to what we now thing is going to be largely a green Christmas.”
Colder air over Scotland will bring a flurry of snow to exposed regions on Sunday, but nothing elsewhere.
Milder conditions through the festive period will bring mostly grey skies and rain to swathes of Britain, according to Mr Dale, author of ‘Weather Or Not?’.
He said: “The UK will be mostly green, green, green over the next few days, with the chance of showers moving through.
“But other than over the high ground in the north of the country, these will fall as rain and drizzle.
“Looking again to America, and they are getting what a couple of weeks ago looked a bit like what we could have been getting in a swing of the pendulum.
“As a large Continent, with cold air already coming in from Canada, they are seeing significantly greater impacts from this Arctic plunge than we would have expected to see here.”
Swathes of American and Canada are without power after a huge Arctic storm ripped through the continent this week.
Temperatures have plummeted to -40C in parts with the US National Weather Service (NWS) warning Christmas could bring lows of -45C.
The mammoth mega-freeze has been triggered by Arctic air swooping rapidly across the country as the Polar vortex dislocates.
US weathermen fear the ‘once-in-a-generation’ cold snap is one of the worst the nation has ever experienced.
It has been driven by a deep low-pressure system intensifying rapidly through a process of ‘explosive cyclogenesis’ giving rise to a deadly storm, or ‘bomb cyclone’.
The country is facing widespread travel delays and flight cancellations, school closures and major disruption to emergency services.
Meanwhile, temperatures in the UK are likely to rise into low double figures in Christmas Day.
After spending the past couple of weeks slashing festive snow odds, bookies are now going back to the drawing board.
Coral is offering 5-4 from 1-3 on a White Christmas with 6-4 in Edinburgh and 7-4 in Glasgow–the most likely place to see snow.
Spokesman John Hill said: “The latest forecasts for Sunday have dampened the prospects of a White Christmas in many parts of the UK.
“However, we still think the likes of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle have a great chance of snow falling on the big day.”
Mr Dale, an independent adjudicator for some of the bookmakers, said: “If you have placed a bet for snow anywhere other than the Highlands of Scotland, or the Hebrides, you are almost certainly going to lose out this year, and is a case of better luck next year.”
Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin added: “There will be a little bit of everything over this long weekend, but if you are hoping for a White Christmas, you are probably going to be disappointed.
“It is going to turn colder on Boxing Day.”
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