Does it snow in London? Many Londoners may wonder what to expect in terms of snowfall during the winter months and how it might impact their daily lives.
While snow can make for a beautiful winter scene and be a fun experience for many, it can also cause disruptions to transportation and other aspects of daily life.
For example, snow can lead to delays and cancellations of public transportation, making it difficult for people to get to work or school.
Therefore, understanding the likelihood of snowfall in London is essential for residents and visitors. This makes it important to answer the question,
Does it snow in London?
Yes, it does snow in London, but not as much as you might think. Despite the city’s northern location, heavy snowfall is a rare occurrence in London, and when it does happen, it doesn’t usually stick around for long.
On average, London receives snowfall for 16 days during winter from December to February. The temperature during this period is 9ºc on the high and 5ºc on the low on average.
You should note that London is only 18 meters above sea level. And while it’s in the same latitude as Russia and Siberia, which receive harsh and long winters, London does not.
You, therefore, can’t help but wonder why? Well, two factors contribute to this phenomenon.
- Relatively warm seas surround London – During the winter months, when cold air masses move in from the north, the warm air from seas like the Gulf of Carpentaria, Arafura Sea, and Coral act as a buffer, preventing the city from experiencing extreme cold temperatures.
The relatively mild sea temperatures keep the air above them warm, making it more difficult for snow to form and settle on the ground.
- Urban heat island effect – This phenomenon is where urban areas experience higher temperatures than rural ones.
This is caused by industrialization and human activity, such as pavements, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat.
With such higher temperatures, snow formation is affected, and if any is formed, it’ll just be for a short period.
How Is Snow Formed?
Snow is a magical part of winter that transforms the landscape into a wonderland. Many of us eagerly await the first snowfall of the season to build snowmen, have snowball fights, and sled down hills.
But have you ever wondered how this icy phenomenon is formed? While we all know that snow is made of tiny ice crystals, the process by which these crystals form is fascinating and complex.
So how does snow form? Snow is formed from water vapor, which is water in gaseous form. When the temperature in the atmosphere is cold enough, water vapor in the air freezes into tiny ice crystals.
At temperatures between about −40 °C and 0 °C, crystals of water vapor start to form around bits of dust in the cloud. And where the temperatures are much lower, water vapor can freeze directly into ice crystals.
These ice crystals may continue to float in the clouds or fall to the ground if they are heavy enough. As they fall, they can clump together with other ice crystals to form snowflakes.
The shape and size of snowflakes can vary depending on the temperature and moisture content of the air, as well as other environmental factors.
Wet Snow Vs. Dry Snow
Snow can vary widely in its characteristics, two of the most common types being wet and dry snow. The difference between the two is the number of ice crystals that form together, and the air temperature often influences this.
When snowflakes fall through cold, dry air, they form into small, dry, and powdery particles that do not easily clump together. This type of snow, commonly known as dry snow and is particularly suitable for snow sports.
If the temperature is just above 0 °C, the edges of snowflakes will start melting, causing them to merge and form large, heavy flakes.
This forms what we refer to as wet snow, which easily sticks together, making it perfect for creating snowmen and other snow structures.
What Can You Do In Snow In London?
The snowy season in London offers a unique and magical experience for locals and visitors alike, with a variety of fun activities to enjoy in the snow.
Whether you prefer to cozy up indoors or get out and explore, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the best things to do in London when it snows.
Explore the Kew Gardens
The Kew Gardens are the perfect place to explore if you’re looking for a tranquil winter experience.
With various plants, trees, and landscapes, you can take a leisurely stroll and experience the beauty of winter in nature. Make sure you also see the famous glasshouses and pagodas covered in snow.
Visit Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is an iconic landmark in London, and seeing it covered in snow is a truly unique experience.
Take a walk along the Thames, admire the majestic nature, or book a tour to explore the fascinating history of the bridge.
Build a snowman
What’s winter without building a snowman? Find a local park or open space and get creative with your snow sculpture. Add some accessories and snap a photo to remember the fun.
Keep warm by an open fire
If you prefer to stay indoors, cozy up by an open fire at a local pub or restaurant. Many establishments in London offer a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a hot drink or meal while watching the snow fall outside.
Take a bus tour
Why see one landmark covered in snow when you can see many? A hop-on hop-off bus tour is a great way to see the city’s landmarks and attractions while staying warm and dry.
With various routes to choose from, you can explore the city at your own pace and take in the winter sights.
See Windsor Castle covered in snow
Windsor Castle is a popular attraction just outside of London, and it can be a magical moment to see it covered in snow. Travel to Windsor and explore the castle’s stunning architecture and history.
Go for a winter walk
A winter walk is a classic way to experience the snow in London. Bundle up, take a walk through one of the city’s many parks or neighborhoods, and take in the festive atmosphere and winter scenery.
What To Wear When It’s Snowing In London
It’s important to dress appropriately to stay warm and dry during cold months. Here are some tips on what to wear when it’s snowing in London.
Layer with a sweater and tights
One of the easiest and most common combinations for winter outfits is a cute sweater paired with jeans or leggings.
This classic ensemble is effortlessly stylish and perfect for those who want to keep things simple yet fashionable during the colder months.
Long waterproof jacket
When bracing for extremely snowy days in winter, a waterproof jacket is perfect for extra protection.
Combine it with a thick sweater, leggings, warm socks, and boots to keep yourself cozy and comfortable.
Parka jacket with a hoodie
Parka jackets were considered a men’s wardrobe staple in the past, but nowadays, they’re just as popular with women, including many celebrities.
These outerwear pieces are stylish and incredibly warm, making them the perfect choice for those looking for both fashion and function in their winter wardrobe.
Umbrella and Scarf
Adding a scarf to your winter clothes can instantly elevate your look while keeping you warm and cozy.
And while you’re out and about, carrying a trusty umbrella with you is always a good idea, so you’re prepared for any sudden downpours or snowstorms.
Snow boots are a winter essential for anyone living in areas with snowfall. They provide insulation and protection from the cold and wet while offering excellent traction on slippery surfaces.
Modern snow boots come in various styles and colors, making it easy to find a pair that suits your taste and needs.
So, in answering the question, does it snow in London? You now know that it does but in a limited way.
If you’re dreaming of a white winter wonderland, London might not be the best place to fulfill that fantasy. While snowfall isn’t entirely unheard of in the city, it’s certainly not a regular occurrence.
During the winter months, temperatures in London can vary from lows of 2.4 degrees Celsius to highs of 8.3 degrees Celsius on average.
While these temperatures might not sound particularly inviting to some, they’re pretty mild compared to other parts of the world.