Does it Snow in London? Heck Yes!
Does it snow in London? It’s no secret that London, England is known for its cold, wet winters. In fact, many people might say that it’s practically synonymous with winter weather. But does it actually snow in London? The answer may surprise you!
The short answer is yes, it does now in London. But the amount of snowfall varies greatly from year to year and may not be what you expect. Or at least for me. I’m from Canada and I’m used to fluffy white crisp snow that lasts for days before it turns into a grey icy slush. The majority of snow days in London tend to have light accumulations that don’t last very long. For example, just last week it snowed (November 2022) and it lasted two days.
1. Snow in London
Due to where London is and its surrounding area, snowfall is often not as widespread throughout the city as it might be elsewhere in England. This means that while some areas may receive a few inches of snow, other parts of the city may only have a light dusting or none at all. I live in North West London, and we had about an inch, maybe 2 inches of snow. Whereas my friends in South London didn’t have any snow at all! Or at least any that stuck to the ground.
Additionally, temperatures in London are usually above freezing throughout the winter, meaning that snow can quickly turn to slush (yep- that grey horrible icy slush). This means that even when it does snow, it often doesn’t stick around for long.
Despite this, there have been some memorable occasions of heavy snowfall in London over the years. One such event was in February 1991 when Central London was hit with a whopping 8 inches of snow! St James’ Park recorded 20 cm.
As you can see, this was many years ago. So, although you may not be able to build a snowman in London this winter, you can still appreciate the beauty of a light flurry here and there.
2. What is London Known for When it comes to Winter Weather?
As one of the world’s most famous and iconic cities, London is known for a lot of things – including its cold, wet winters. In fact, many people assume that it’s always raining in London during the winter months. However, the truth is that we do get a lot of sunny days and although snow isn’t as guaranteed to happen as in other parts of the world, it does still snow in London occasionally.
3. Why does London have a Reputation for cold, wet winters?
One of the reasons why London has a reputation for cold, wet winters is because it often does rain in those months. The city is located in a temperate climate zone, which means that it doesn’t experience the extreme temperatures that you might find in other parts of the world. However, this also means that it can be quite chilly and damp during the winter months and then quite warm, but also wet, in the summer months.
4. How Often Does it Snow in London?
In general, London doesn’t see a lot of snowfall each year. In fact, the average amount of snow that falls in the city is only about 2 inches. For the whole year, not just the winter months. However, there is always the chance that it could snow more than that – and in some years, as I mention above, it has actually snowed quite a bit.
So, does London usually have snow during the winter months? The answer is yes – but it’s not always a guarantee. And, it’s not always the fluffy wonderful snow that you would see in the movies. Or in Canada. (Hi, dad).
5. How does Geography affect the Snow in London?
The geography of London definitely plays a role in how much snowfall the city experiences each year. Due to London being located in a temperate climate zone, it is safe to say that winters are wet and cold (but usually rainy) as London doesn’t see extreme weather temperatures that often.
In addition, London is located on the banks of the River Thames. It is often said that the river often helps to create a cold air barrier. Meaning that it is unlikely the Thames will freeze over because it doesn’t get cold wind traps like other places in the UK, up North for example.
6. Some Memorable Moments of Heavy London Snow Over the Recent Years
- In December 2010, London saw its heaviest snowfall in nearly two decades. The city was covered in a thick layer of snow, which made transport difficult and caused widespread disruption. Londoners were lucky enough to wake up to a fluffy white snow on Christmas morning.
- November 2012, London saw snowfall that lasted over a week and the snow spread to all over England.
- In February 2018, London was hit by another major snowstorm. Majorly brought on by the storm named ‘The Beast from the East’. This storm caused travel chaos in London with roads becoming blocked and public transport grinding to a halt.
These examples show that snowfall can be quite unpredictable in London. While the city doesn’t usually experience heavy snowfall during the winter months, there is always a chance of it happening – and when it does happen, you best be ready to bring out your inner child and make a snow angel.
7. What is the Best Month to See Snow in London?
The best months to visit London to see snow are January, February and March. This is when the city typically experiences its most severe snowstorms, based on data from BBC weather. However, it’s important to note that snowfall can be unpredictable in London, so there’s always a chance of seeing snow in other months as well, such as November and December!
Because of the range of times of year that it could snow in London, it is better to plan your trip based on activities and places you want to go, rather than seeing snowfall in London. If you’re lucky enough to be in London when it does snow then you will experience a beautiful snowy London.
Saying that though, there are also drawbacks. For example, London can’t handle a lot of snow and quite often the busses and train journeys get cancelled or majorly delayed. And if you’re in London for a short visit this can be highly disruptive to your trip. For more info on how to travel around London, check out my Locals Guide on Travel.
Final Thoughts on Snow in London
While London doesn’t usually experience heavy snowfall during the winter months, there is always a chance of it happening – and when it does happen, it can cause disruption across the city. Or, in my opinion, create a magical winter wonderland that allows me to reminisce on fun moments from growing up in Canada.
FAQs for Snow in London
Does it Snow in London
Yes! London gets a few inches of snow in the winter months.
How Often Does it Snow in London?
Snow in London every year is not guaranteed. There are years when it only rains during the winter months in London.
When is the best time to visit to see snow in London?
According to BBC weather, London is more likely to see snowfall in November, December, January and February and occasionally March.