Top five coldest winters UK has ever experienced – will this winter beat them?

UK weather: Charts show high probability of snow in UK

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Winter is coming, and while the UK is no stranger to cold blasts and miserable winters, the UK is currently expecting a colder than average season from November to March. Last winter, the UK recorded its coldest temperature in two decades – but it wasn’t enough to beat the remarkable records held by some of the worst winters Britain has ever seen.

A cold snap is forecast to hit by midweek, with forecasters predicting winter showers across the north of the UK from Wednesday onwards.

After a mild autumn so far, conditions will be distinctly chilly from now onwards an area of low pressure bringing icy winds and widespread frosts.

Many may be hoping for snow on Christmas day, but already there is the chance of some snow this week into the weekend.

So what are the five coldest winters UK has ever experienced?

READ MORE: BBC Weather: ‘Widespread frost’ hits UK as areas blasted with cold

1946/1947

In the aftermath of World War 2, the UK was hit with one of the worst winters on record.

Snow fell for 55 consecutive days between January and March, and when it melted, rivers burst their banks, causing widespread floods.

What’s more, some parts of the UK saw dangerously low temperatures of -21C.

1962/1963

The coldest winter in 200 years struck in 1962/63, so much so it’s known as the ‘Big Freeze’.

Still considered to be the worst winter in modern British history, it didn’t actually break any temperature records.

However, temperatures were persistently sub-zero, and the River Thames froze over.

1982/1983

A record-breaking winter took place in 1982, with an average temperature of 0.3C plaguing Britain.

The freezing winter also saw the coldest registered temperature in UK modern history recorded in Braemar, Scotland, when -27.2C was recorded.

There was also an unprecedented amount of snow throughout December to March – with some areas witnessing 23ft.

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2009/2010

December 2009 started off mild, but unfortunately, it didn’t last.

An average temperature of -1C was recorded in the month, freezing much of the UK.

December 2009 and January 2010 saw snowfall and low temperatures in a two-month spell, resulting in transport disruption, school closures and power failures throughout Britain.

2010/2011

The 1982 record for coldest winter was beaten by the temperatures recorded in December 2010.

An average temperature of -1C was recorded that froze much of the UK.

Many will remember the heavy snow that led to chaos as school and transport closed down.

Could this winter be the new coldest?

Bookmaker Coral has slashed the odds on next month being the UK’s coldest December since records began to just 5/4 (from 3/1) as forecasts warn of an abrupt end to the unseasonably warm autumn.

Coral spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said: “The autumn sunshine won’t last much longer and we are headed for a freezing December, so much so that we have slashed the odds on it entering the record books as our coldest ever.”

Coral are taking bets on a White Christmas, with Aberdeen the most likely of all major UK cities for snow on the big day at odds of 5/2.

Newcastle is England’s most likely for snow on the big day at 3/1. It is 8/1 for snow in London on December 25.

Mr Aitkenhead said: “We are already seeing punters dreaming of a White Christmas get their bets on for 2021’s big day, with Aberdeen the most likely of the UK’s major cities to get the white stuff on December 25.”

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