Icy blast blown away as Harrogate district's hopes of a White Christmas are dashed

Harrogate escaped the worst of the wintry weather over the weekend and we now seem unlikely to enjoy a white Christmas this year.

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Met Office warnings on Friday had predicted some heavy snowfall and the prospect of freezing rain as Storm Deirdre blew in across the north of England and Scotland.

While the heavy downpours and icy temperatures were certainly in evidence across the district, the snow was largely confined to the higher ground.

There were reports of cars needing to be rescued from snow drifts up at Hawes and close to Tan Hill, while there was also a significant laying of snow in Pickering but there was nothing of significance on lower ground.

The freezing rain did cause troubles of its own, however, making the penultimate Saturday before Christmas a tricky one for those travelling to do some late festive shopping.

At one stage on Saturday evening, North Yorkshire Police issued a plea for people not to travel in the region as conditions grew increasingly difficult.

The predicted snow did not materialise across the Harrogate district this weekend, and we now look set for a wet and windy Christmas.

The predicted snow did not materialise across the Harrogate district this weekend, and we now look set for a wet and windy Christmas.

Temperatures in Harrogate dropped to 0.9C at 4pm on Saturday and were set between 1C and 2C until the late evening when they rose to 4C. Sunday was much warmer at 6C by 2pm.

Monday's weather will be drier but the colder temperatures are likely to remain for a couple of days yet before an area of deep low pressure, approaching from the west, will turn things much more unsettled.

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Met Office forecasts indicate more wet and windy weather arriving as the festive season approaches... all but ruling out the chance of a white Christmas.

The Met Office forecast reads: "A dry, bright and chilly start, with mist will soon clear on Monday to leave a dry day with sunny spells, though turning cloudier and breezier through the afternoon, with rain arriving later in the evening.

"Tuesday will be cloudy and windy with outbreaks of rain, but milder than recent days. Wednesday promises to be brighter, colder and less windy, with occasional showers, while Thursday will be bright with isolated showers and light winds."

There is expected to be more of the same as we progress toward the festive season as milder, unsettled spells dominate the run-up to the big day.

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A statement on The Weather Channel reads: "There will be a pre-Christmas cocktail of brighter spells and showers early next week and some of these could be heavy. It will also be quite windy at times and it should feel milder with temperatures edging upwards although there is the chance of an isolated wintry shower on higher ground in Scotland.

"Moving towards the festive season, long-range forecasts indicate a mixture of wind and rain with arriving on a series of fronts from the Atlantic, according to most computer models."