Bookies slash the odds on another white Christmas
LONG-range weather forecasters have said a white Christmas in Ireland is "more likely than usual".
The cautious prediction comes as one service said there is a 20pc chance of snow falling on December 25, with northern counties having a 30pc chance.
And even though it is only early November, bookmakers have taken heed of the forecasts and cut their odds on a white Christmas.
Paddy Power is offering odds of 4/1 of snow falling in Dublin and Belfast while Cork comes in at 6/1.
Ladbrokes is offering odds of 5/1 for a white Christmas in Dublin and Galway and 7/1 for Cork.
The last white Christmas, in 2010, saw Paddy Power pay out €50,000 -- despite the rules stating that snow must fall on Christmas Day itself. No fresh snow fell that day and other bookies refused to pay out.
The Weather Outlook said the chance of a white Christmas is higher than usual due to high pressure expected to block Ireland's usual mild south-westerly breezes. This pattern allows air from the Arctic to travel south, as happened during the December 2010 big freeze.
Forecaster Brian Gaze of The Weather Outlook said: "The chance of a white Christmas is above average, with signs of high pressure blocking increasing the chance of colder than average conditions."