Boat Race May See Snow For First Time Since 1983

The Easter Sunday Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge universities may see snow for the first time in three decades, the U.K.’s Met Office said.

Snow flurries are possible amid temperatures of up to 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the forecast for London on March 31, when the 159th Boat Race takes place on the River Thames. The last time it snowed during the annual race was 1983, the Met Office said, when Oxford won.

Freezing temperatures have disrupted flights, train services and sporting events across large parts of the U.K. this month. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, thousands of homes were without power after severe snowstorms and strong winds damaged cables last weekend.

March may be the coldest month since 1962, with a mean temperature of 2.5 degrees Celsius that’s three degrees below the long-term average, according to the Met Office.

U.K. bookmaker William Hill Plc is offering odds of 25-1 that snow will fall during the race. That means a successful $1 bet would return $25, plus the stake.

Oxford, which lost last year after the race was interrupted by a man who jumped into the river, is the 2-5 favorite to win, with Cambridge at 7-4, according to William Hill.

Cambridge has an 81-76 lead in the series, which started in 1829 after a Light Blues student wrote to an Oxford friend proposing a race.

The event is one of the main fixtures on the British sports calendar. The 4.25-mile (6.8-kilometer) race has drawn crowds of 250,000 spectators on the banks of the Thames and millions more spectators on television.