Are snowy winters in the UK becoming a thing of the past?

After Met Office analysis, climate change in the UK could start to affect the cold weather we experience in the winter months.

The average coldest day across the past three decades in the UK has been -4.3 Celsius, but if emissions keep rising, the coldest day in the UK would stay above 0 Celsius for the majority of the country. Dr Lizzie Kendon, a Met Office scientist who worked on climate projections, told Panorama “We’re saying by the end of the century much of the lying snow will have disappeared entirely except over the highest ground,”. Meaning that by 2060, only high ground and Northern Scotland are likely to experience such cold days.

At the moment, many areas of the UK still experience snowfall, and wintry showers are forecast during the winter.

Children are used to building snowmen and sledging down the hill, sometimes even getting time off of school when the snow hits. Those at work struggle to travel if the snow is too heavy or the roads are frozen with ice, but many find the idea of snow magical, and dream of having a ‘White Christmas.’

With kids in this generation having grown up watching Elf and Frozen, there’s a sense of fun and beauty in it all, something which sadly the future generation may not be able to experience. It’s something which we may have never thought would happen, but with climate change already affecting global temperatures, the idea of a ‘snow day’ is slowly fading.

Because of the temperature rise which is predicted across the decades to come, The Met Office believe we will begin to experience both warmer winters and summers. The biggest increase being in the warmer southern parts of the UK, with extreme weather becoming more intense. However, if the world is able to reduce the amount of emissions being put into the atmosphere, the temperature rises will be much smaller.

Not only are winters expected to become warmer, but there is also a good chance they will be much wetter too. People across the UK are used to a lot of rain, as it’s part of the British culture. But cold and dry days are what most tend to prefer, in order to get out for a wintry walk with the family. To try and stop high emissions causing flooding, the UK’s government have set out plans to try and tackle climate change. The main goal is to “Cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emission by 68% by the end of the decade,“. PM Boris Johnson hopes that other nations will follow suit, as they join a virtual climate pledges summit on December 12th.


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