Could this be the warmest Christmas ever?

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Just a few weeks ago, forecasters were suggesting that Britain was heading for a white Christmas as a result of a polar vortex. But, dreams of a white Christmas are now fading with suggestions that Christmas Day could, in fact, be the hottest ever recorded in Britain.

Bookmakers say they have had a flurry of bets on December 25 being the warmest on record following recent mild weather. So far, the warmest Christmas Days have been recorded in Edinburgh in 1896 and then Devon in 1920, which were both recorded at 15.6C.

Following temperatures of 17C this week, many believe that Britain will have a warm Christmas Day rather than a snowy one. Coral the bookmakers have now reduced the odds of 2016 being the warmest Christmas Day on record from 20-1 to just 12-1.

There have also been a number of bets about whether the month of December could have the hottest recorded temperature. In 1948, the hottest December temperature was recorded at 18.3C. So far, the month this year has seen the second hottest temperature on record, with Flintshire enjoying levels of 17C.

A white Christmas?

The odds of a white Christmas are 6-1 in London, 9-2 in Newcastle and 11-1 in Manchester. A spokesperson for Coral said that those who were dreaming of a white Christmas were beginning to lose hope.

The Met Office, meanwhile, said that Britain should expect conditions which are drier than usual with lighter winds over the 2016 Christmas period. However, with clearer skies will come below average temperatures and a higher likelihood of frost and fog.

While a white Christmas is often considered to make the day for magical, the last widespread white Christmas in Britain was six years ago when there was snow on the ground at 83 per cent of stations, with further snow or sleet falling at around a fifth of weather stations.