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When Does It Snow in London?

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This post covers when it snows in London, how much snow to expect in any given month, as well as tips on things to do and how to dress for the snow and cold.

 

OVERVIEW

Winters in London are generally cold and often rainy. But don't fret! There is plenty to do in London when the weather is not cooperating!

The average daily high temperature between December and February is about 48°F (9°C) and the average daily low is 41°F (5°C).

Below freezing temperatures, however, are not uncommon and snow is not unheard of.
At Heathrow, on average, some snow/sleet occurs on average on 12 days during the winter season November to April. 

Fortunately, the snow does not stay on the ground very long, most of the time it melts away very quickly.

Accumulating snow/sleet can be expected on only 3-5 days, mostly during the months of December to February.

 


SNOWFALL IN LONDON

Snowfall in November 

The average total precipitation during November is 60 mm (2.4 inches). Rainfalls of at least 1 mm (0.04 inches) can be expected on about 9 days during November. 

Snow is reported once every couple of years but does not accumulate on the ground.

Be sure to check out both our full London November weather post.

Snowfall in December 

The average total precipitation during December is 55 mm (2.2 inches). December tends to be more winter-like. 

Days with at least 1 mm (.04 inches) or more of precipitation average about 9-10. 

Some snow falls in December, but only on about 2 days with about 1-day recording snow accumulation.

Be sure to check out our full London December weather post

Snowfall in January

The average total precipitation during January is 55 mm (2.2 inches). January normally has about 8-9 days with precipitation of at least 1 mm (0.04 inches). 

Snow falls on average on about 3 days with accumulating snow on 1-2 days.

Be sure to check out our full London January weather post.

Snowfall in February

The average total precipitation during February is 41 mm (1.6 inches). February sees about 6-7 days with at least 1 mm (0.04 inches) of rainfall. 

February is the snowiest month of the year with 4 days, on average, reporting some snow and 1-2 days with accumulating snow.

Be sure to check out our full London February weather post.

Snowfall in March

The average total precipitation during March is 40 mm (1.6 inches). March sees about 7 days with at least 1 mm (.04 inches) of precipitation. 

Snow can still occur this month, however, it normally occurs only on about 1 day, but rarely accumulates on the ground.

Be sure to check out our full London March weather post.

Snowfall in April

The average total precipitation during April is 44 mm (1.7 inches). April sees about 6-7 days with at least 1 mm (0.04 inches) of precipitation. Snow occurs on about 1 day on average but rarely accumulates.

Be sure to check out our full London April weather post


WHAT TO WEAR IN THE COLDER MONTHS

We recommend that in the colder months, you are prepared to dress in layers.

A warm outer-layer will keep you comfortable outside, while a lighter inner layer ensures you won't be too hot at any indoor attractions.

Read the information above to see the average temperature for the month you are visiting London. The lower the temps, the heavier the coat.

What to Wear in London in January

We write in detail about winter packing on our Winter Packing List, but you can find the highlights for London listed here:

1. Waterproof Jacket

We like anything from Camel Crown, their affordable 3 in 1 winter hiking jackets come in men's and women's cuts.

2. Extra Layers

  • We love down vests and the 32 DEGREES down vest is ultra-lightweight with a flattering fit, or the men's Wantdo Packable vest (also available in jacket style) comes with a pouch for easy packing.
  • If you'll be spending time outside for stretches (or really don't like being cold) a great option is base layers - like Merino Wool Base Layer tights (men's and women's style).

3. Umbrella

London snow can be anywhere for drizzly to heavy flakes so we think it's smart to have a small portable compact umbrella that fits in small bags!

4. Winter Accessories

5. Extra Warmth

Our biggest tips are always to bring things that serve multiple purposes and for winter travel, you can't do better than a portable charger.

You never know when you'll find a working and available outlet, so why not find one that does double duty as a hand warmer.

Zippo makes a rechargeable handwarmer that also has a USB port to charge your devices.

Should you forget any of these items, London has no shortage of shopping. Read our post on where to shop in London for some suggestions.

And if you are in London for the holidays, the Christmas markets are an excellent place to pick up gloves, hats, scarves and the like.


THINGS TO DO WHEN IT SNOWS IN LONDON

Don't let the snow stop you from enjoying your time in London. It certainly doesn't stop the locals from being out and about!

To help you plan for any inclement weather, we've put together posts on things to do during the months where you might experience some snow.
Be sure to check out our extensive post on what to do in London all year round

If you are in town in November, December or January, take a look at our guide to Christmas in London. Many activities begin in November and remain open into January.

Below are the top things to do in London that are indoors. We also list activities you can only do in the winter months!


Go to a Museum or Attraction 

London has so many museums, you could spend days visiting them all! Many London museums are free or have free days or hours. 

If you are in London during a month when it seems likely you will encounter some bad weather, consider getting a tourist attraction discount pass.

Some museums that do charge an entrance fee are included for free when you purchase a pass.

 
To help you narrow down your choices, here is a list of the some of the top museums and historic attractions:

Keep in mind that these popular museums will be crowded in bad weather.

Going to a lesser-known museum, like medical museums or military museum might be a good option if you don't like crowds.


Take a Bus Tour

London has several hop-on-hop-off bus tours. A bus tour can help you see London and stay dry as you hop from one attraction to another.

 Additionally, there are many themed bus tours, such as the Harry Potter Tour, the Jack the Ripper Bus Tour and a ghost ride.

Check out our bus tour comparison post


Join a Free Walking Tour

Believe it or not, our name-your-own-price tours run rain or shine, and yes even snow, provided isn't a storm! 

We also offer indoor tours of the British Museum and the National Gallery of Art.

Find out more about our walking tours of London to see what tours we offer.


Take an Afternoon Tea

This is just about as British as it gets! Stay cozy while you sip tea and eat scones with jam.

See our post about afternoon tea in London or why not check out the Twinings Tea Shop in the City of London.


What to Do at Night in the Cold

You could just stay inside your hotel room and watch the telly. But why do that when you have so many choices of things to do in London when the weather is bad.

Here are just a few options:

Get even more ideas from our post on things to do at night in London.


Embrace the Chilly Weather!

Here's a short list of things you can only do in the winter months. Take advantage while you can.

You can find more suggestions of how to spend a snowy or damp day from our post on what to do in London in the rain.

After all, what is snow but a prettier version of rain! 


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About The Author

Fred Pickhardt

Fred is a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade. He has extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, and forensic weather event reconstructions. Fred founded Ocean Weather Services and currently provides forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
Updated: October 11th, 2021
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