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Thursday 18 December Published at 16:37
Issued by the Met Office
Thursday 18th December
YELLOW WARNING OF HEAVY RAIN for Wales
Further outbreaks of rain are likely to become heavy and persistent again during Thursday lasting into the early hours of Friday.
The public should be aware of the risk of localised flooding.
Valid from: 1130 on Thu 18th Dec to 0600 on Fri 19th Dec 2014
Thursday 18th December
YELLOW WARNING OF SNOW AND ICE for Scotland
Snow showers are expected to continue throughout Thursday night, Friday and early Saturday, giving lying snow above 200 m. Some drifting of the lying snow will also occur in the strong winds. Icy patches will occur on untreated surfaces. The public should be aware of some hazardous driving conditions.
Valid from: 2100 on Thu 18th Dec to 0600 Saturday.
About the Met Office Weather Warnings
BBC Weather carries two types of weather warnings issued by the Met Office: Warnings and Early Warnings.
Warnings will be issued when severe weather is expected within the next 24 hours.
Early Warnings will be issued more than 24 hours ahead of severe weather.
There are three categories of event Red, Amber and Yellow - the most severe is Red.
A Warning and an Early Warning of the same colour have the same severity but are forecast to arrive at different times. Thus, the difference between a Red Warning and a Red Early Warning is the lead time of the event.
When a warning is in force, full information can be found at Met Office Weather Warnings
About Flood Warnings
The flood warnings are issued by the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Natural Resources Wales, and sent to the BBC Weather Centre. We then issue a compendium of warnings based on the latest information available. When severe flood warnings are issued they will also be highlighted on TV broadcasts.
Find out more about Flood Warnings
There are a number of ways you find out whether your area is at risk from flooding. The Environment Agency, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Natural Resources Wales update their warnings 24 hours a day via the Floodline number.
Floodline - 0345 988 1188
Monday 15 December Published at 10:00
Dreaming of a white Christmas?
December so far has seen quite a changeable pattern of weather. There have been some chilly nights when the skies have cleared and the winds fallen light but also some wild and windy days, with low pressure systems rapidly deepening over the Atlantic before bringing gales and some exceptionally high seas to more northern parts of the country. There has been some snow too, mainly but not exclusively over hills in the north of the country.
All of this is standard fare for December and the snow we have seen is nothing out of the ordinary. However, it's approaching the time of year where many people only care about one thing - a white Christmas.
At the time of writing, it still looks too early to place bets on specific cities seeing a white Christmas, since the current changeable pattern, with day-by-day swings in temperature and weather, seems set to continue into the New Year.
So, with the usual health warning to stay tuned for updates as the big day nears, it currently looks possible for some snowflakes to fall somewhere on Christmas Day. Without wishing to be a Christmas Grinch however, widespread falling or lying snow (the sort needed for sledging) looks unlikely for much of the country, especially away from hills in the north.
Monday 15 December—Sunday 21 December
Cold start and end, mild middle
Monday starts cold and windy in the far north and northwest of the UK, with further showers, some wintry over the hills. In the southwest, cloud and outbreaks of rain will ease away by dusk. Much of the rest of the country will be dry with sunny periods.
Following a mostly cold and crisp start to Tuesday, milder air with rain and strong winds will spread into western areas, spreading eastwards through the rest of the day before clearing Wednesday morning. On Thursday, outbreaks of rain return to central and southern parts, but in the north it will be colder again with sunshine and showers, these perhaps wintry in the far north.
The colder, showery weather extends to the rest of the country on Friday and for much of the weekend, with the heaviest and most frequent showers in the north and northwest, driven by gales or severe gales in exposure. The more sheltered southern and eastern parts of the UK will remain mainly dry with the best of the sunshine found here.
Monday 22 December—Sunday 28 December
Rinse and repeat
The showers may be more persistent at times in the north through Sunday and into Monday, with the rain possibly heavy at times in the northwest, especially over windward hills. Temperatures are expected to be generally above normal over most parts at the start of Christmas week, although feeling colder in the wind and any heavier rain. During Tuesday, the rain is currently expected to move gradually southeastward across the UK, with showery conditions returning into northwestern parts later in the day. Temperatures will return closer to normal in the wake of the clearing band of rain.
This changeable weather is presently expected to continue through the Christmas period, bringing a mixture of wetter and milder days along with some colder and showery interludes. By night, in those colder interludes, frosts are likely. As for snow? Well, if the timing is right and a colder interlude coincides with Christmas Day, then it may be possible that somewhere in the country sees some snowflakes falling - the chances currently look highest for hills in the north.
Monday 29 December—Sunday 18 January
New year, new weather script?
The end of December is likely to stay changeable and often windy with weather systems arriving from the west or northwest. The more unsettled conditions are likely to be in the north and west, with the best of the sunshine in the south and east. It may continue to be mild one day, then colder the next, but temperatures are expected to average out to be around or just below normal for the timne of year. The continuation of this variable pattern is the most likely and preferred scenario for our weather throughout the period until mid-January, however there are some signs of potential for a slightly more settled and colder spell to develop from early January.
Will the colder, more settled scenario win out?
Monthly forecastingThe weather beyond about a week ahead stretches even the most experienced weather forecaster. Complex numerical weather forecast models from the Met Office and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) are run many times for the month (and season) ahead to build up a picture of the likelihood of different weather types affecting the UK.
Next update at 10:00, Monday 22 December
Thursday 18 December Published at 14:36
Mild with rain in clearing south, then colder with showers.
This Evening and Tonight
Cloudy across the south with rain continuing, mainly affecting western parts. This clearing southeastwards, allowing clearer, colder conditions in the north to spread to all but the far southeast of England by morning. Blustery showers giving snow on northern hills.
Rain soon clearing the far southeast. Then dry, bright and breezy for much of England and Wales, but with blustery wintry showers in the north, locally heavy and thundery.
Outlook for Saturday to Monday
Bright, breezy and cold on Saturday, wintry showers in the north easing. Turning cloudier but milder for Sunday and Monday, though still windy, with outbreaks of rain or drizzle.