BBC Weather: ‘Battleground’ between cold and mild air for UK
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Maps and charts show that from Thursday the UK is braced for unsettled conditions, with potential for a third storm in the winter month. During Christmas weekend, rains are expected to strike the south of Britain, while other areas enjoy snowfall.
According to maps from WXCharts, Christmas Eve sees an Atlantic front of wet weather push across the UK, while snowfall works its way down from the North Sea.
By 6pm on Friday, a band of rainfall will stretch from the south of Scotland to Southampton with the heaviest rains of 5mm an hour over the north west coast.
Overnight, the worst of the rainfall will have pushed past Britain, but downpours will continue in Cornwall and the north west coast.
By Christmas morning, the unsettled weather will see spots of rain across much of the country, with only the midlands and Kent apparently avoiding the showers.
Throughout the festive Saturday, the band of Atlantic weather will chill, bringing snow after rains over the south.
Meteorologists have suggested a new storm, Corrie, could strike Britain after Christmas, as pressure systems continue to build.
This is due to the La Nina effect, an unsettled weather front caused when warm North Sea temperatures mix with cooler water from the Pacific Ocean.
British Weather Services meteorologist Jim Dale said: “We are expecting one more major storm this month which will set the trend for coming months.
“We expect five to six storms to hit through the winter period which could be severe enough to warrant naming.”
Netweather.tv also reported a south-western front of rain and wind moves across the UK, there is “potential for some snowfall”.
Mr Dale later said: “It initially looked like it was going to be a dry Christmas, but a White Christmas is now definitely on.
“It will get progressively colder through next week as high pressure breaks down and a system coming in on Christmas Eve clashes with the cold conditions and brings snow.
“This is coming in from Scandinavia and the east where there is a blocking high, and it will bring outbreaks of snow from Christmas Eve onwards.
“There is a chance of snow any time in any place with this cold polar airmass across the whole country.”
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: “Snow could arrive as early as Christmas Eve in parts of the south.
“Further snow is likely during the latter part of Christmas Day and on Boxing Day.
“Weather models have altered to include high-pressure changes, and this could bring widespread snow during the latter part of the month.
“This will be one to monitor over the next couple of days.”
A Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) similar to the driver for 2018’s beast from the east will boost the freezing blast.
Mr Madden added: “An SSW will contribute to bringing a very cold easterly and the ever-increasing risk for widespread snow during the final third of December.
“Temperatures could also dip as low as -10C in the coldest and iciest areas over the festive period.”
In its long-range forecast, The Met Office said that between December 22 and December 31 could see a “threat of rain or wintery conditions”.
They said: “Towards the middle of this period the threat of rain or wintery conditions increases, particularly towards the south and southwest.
“A cloudy start to this period but remaining generally dry with just some light rain possible in north Scotland.
“This dry weather continues for a time with variable cloud cover across most of the nation, although occasional showers may be possible for north and eastern coastal regions.
“During this time some stronger winds are possible, although these are likely to be confined to southern regions.
“Temperatures likely to be rather cold with overnight frosts and increased risk of fog.
“Settled conditions however are likely to remain through the last few days of the year with a continued risk of frost and fog.”
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