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The Met Office has forecast “unsettled” weather leading to the weekend before Christmas.
While long-range forecasts are subject to change, the Met Office’s extended verdict suggests the potential for snow towards the year’s end. However, the forecast also suggests that the majority of the country is expected to experience rain and a milder Christmas.
The Met Office’s extended forecast, covering weather patterns from 24 December to 7 January, indicates that “it is more likely to be unsettled compared to the preceding settled spell with bands of rain crossing the UK with brighter conditions and showers in between”.
“The wettest and windiest conditions are most likely in the west and northwest.
“The chance of a colder spell of weather, with hazards such as snow and ice, does increase later in December and into the New Year period.
“However, conditions are more likely to remain generally mild and wet,” it said.
From 15 December to 24 December, the Met Office predicts that “for most locations” there will be a “continuing trend to more settled weather into the weekend as high pressure builds close to the southwest of the UK”.
It said that Scotland is likely to remain in a “more wet and windy regime with westerly winds”.
It also added that “the wettest weather is likely across western high ground, mainly in Scotland and occasionally parts of Northern Ireland and northwest England”.
The weatherman predicts “settled conditions in the south with average temperatures and cloudy at times with some patchy light rain, mainly near western coasts and over hills. Clearer spells favoured the south and east but these also allowing potential for fog or frost overnight”.
The following week sees potential for high pressure to decline allowing a return to unsettled conditions and typically average temperatures, favouring the northwest for wettest and windiest conditions, it adds.
On Saturday, Storm Elin brought wind speeds of up to 81mph and 38mm of rain to parts of the UK. Fresh weather warnings have been issued until Wednesday as Britain braces for the aftermath of Storm Fergus’ arrival on Sunday afternoon.
The storm – named by the Irish meteorological service Met Eireann – could produce 30 to 40mm of rain, along with a risk of hail and thunder, the Met Office said. Several warnings for rain have been issued, predominantly focused on northwest England and southwest Scotland, as well as parts of northern and eastern Scotland.