First snowfall of the winter hits as Met Office issues weather hazard warning

The first verifiable English snow fall in the run up to Christmas has been captured in Yorkshire.

A part of the Dales near Hawes were subject to a considerable dusting of the white stuff this morning.

The semi-blanketing came despite Met Office forecasters only predicting sleet today, Examiner Live reported.

There are currently three mountain weather hazards in place for the region, applying at or above 300m.

Walkers have been advised to watch out for severe chill effect, poor visibility and thunderstorms.

The Met Office said: “Wind significantly lowers the ‘feels-like’ temperature relative to the actual temperature, with even moderate winds significantly adding to the chilling effect.

“Strong winds can result in a severe and debilitating wind chill many degrees below the actual temperature. This effect will be enhanced in rain or wet snow.

“Without protection, prolonged exposure could result in frost nip or frostbite on exposed parts of the body and/or hypothermia.

“Poor visibility presents challenging route finding conditions. Visibility could be significantly less than 50 metres in all directions with few or no visual references, especially on featureless moors or plateaux.

“Distances become hard to judge and cliff or cornice edges can be difficult to recognise. These conditions require good navigational skills.

“There is a risk of white-out conditions when mist or fog is combined with extensive snow cover.”

As much as it’s only the beginning of November, this early shower will inevitably raise hopes of a festive season spent tossing snowballs and tobogganing.

According to the Met Office a white Christmas is declared if a snowflake is observed falling in the 24 hours of 25 December somewhere in the UK.

The country is more likely to see snow between January and March than in December, with snow or sleet falling an average 3.9 days in December, compared to 5.3 days in January, 5.6 days in February and 4.2 days in March.

White Christmases were more frequent in the 18 and 19 centuries, even more so before the change of calendar in 1752 which effectively brought Christmas Day back by 12 days.

Climate change has also brought higher average temperatures over land and sea and this generally reduced the chances of a white Christmas.