Denmark’s weather forecasters hint at ‘local’ white Christmas

Small margins could decide whether Denmark gets a white Christmas in 2021 – or a grey or wet one.

A snowy Christmas scene in Denmark back in 2001. Forecasters predict some parts of the country could get snow at Christmas in 2021.
A snowy Christmas scene in Denmark back in 2001. Forecasters predict some parts of the country could get snow at Christmas in 2021. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

National meteorological agency DMI says that prognoses for Christmas Eve weather are “ambiguous” and that small margins could decide whether the country awakes to a white layer of fresh snow on December 24th, the day on which most Danes traditionally celebrate the Christmas holiday.

But there is good reason for snow lovers to hold out hope for Christmas weather in keeping with the iconic imagery of the season, meteorologist Jens Lindskjold said via the agency’s website.

“The latest prognoses suggest that there will be snow or sleet in almost all of the country. That will begin as soon as the 23rd with snow, sleet and rain in large parts of the country, but margins will determine whether the snow will melt in a couple of degrees above zero around Christmas,” Lindskjold said.

Uncertainty around the forecast is related to whether a cold front moves north or south around the Christmas period, according to the meteorologist.

“In short – the forecast in uncertain and right now there’s just a hair’s breadth between wet and white,” he said.

A weather front passing over Denmark on the 23rd and 24th is likely to bring snow to central and southern parts of the country, while snowfall coming in from the north also increases the chance of a white Christmas in northern and eastern Jutland on Christmas Eve, according to DMI.

This means that “local” white Christmases are possible while a “national” white Christmas, in which over 90 percent of the country is under a snowy blanket, is less likely.

The latter is a relatively rare occurrence and has only happened on nine occasions since 1900, DMI’s climatologist Mikael Scharling said on the agency’s website.

That happened most recently in 2009 and 2010, with the previous occasion before that as long ago as 1995.

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Denmark’s November snow not expected to last

Snow that carpeted Denmark on Sunday and Monday will melt over the next few days, according to forecasters, meaning traffic disruptions will be short-lived.

Denmark’s November snow not expected to last

Temperatures will be above freezing for most of this week, the Danish met office DMI said on Monday.

While the temperatures are expected to remain above zero, there may still be some risk of icy roads during the night and early mornings, the agency said.

Several accidents and disruptions related to hazardous roads were reported on Monday morning but conditions had improved by later in the day, the Danish Roads Directorate (Vejdirektoratet) said.

“The positive degrees have [already] made a difference, that’s for sure,” Jakob Riis-Petersen of the roads agency said.

“A combination of plus degrees and no rain or snow has helped,” he said.

Difficult conditions could return again on Tuesday, he also said.

“But it depends on what happens with precipitation. But so far it doesn’t look like there will be large amounts,” he said.