THE odds on Merseyside getting a white Christmas are shortening with leading bookmakers offering 11/4.

With the weather turning colder this week  - and severe weather warnings from the Met Office - the probability of a white Christmas in the UK is increasing.

Online betting comparison site “Oddschecker” reveals odds of 10/3 for snow in London this Christmas with Betfred.

In Liverpool the likelihood increases with odds of 11/4 and 7/4 for Edinburgh.

Italians may be disappointed if they are hoping for a white Christmas this year – Rome is only showing odds of 50/1.

Bookmaker PaddyPower is offering 9/2 for temperatures of less than 5°C on Christmas Day in the UK, while William Hill is offering 6/1 for England’s lowest temperature record to have been beaten by April 30, 2013.

The cold snap due to hit Britain this week, nicknamed the "Beast from the East", has already caused severe disruption across Europe with many flights being cancelled.

Although snow is synonymous with Christmas, according to the Met Office, snow or sleet falls on average five days in December, compared with 7.6 days in January and 6.8 days in February.

Statistics show a snowflake has fallen on Christmas Day 38 times in the last 52 years.