Unsettled rainy weather forecast for build up to Christmas
Unsettled rainy weather, with a chance of flooding in the South, has been forecast for the lead up to Christmas Day.
The Met Office has issued a yellow rain warning covering all parts of the UK south of Birmingham, which is in place from Wednesday morning until 6am on Christmas Eve.
Disruption to travel and power lines is expected in the southern half of England and Wales, which is due to be the worst hit by rain spreading across the nation.
The Environment Agency has also issued eight flood warnings, for areas where heavy rainfall is expected at scattered locations around the UK.
This includes areas close to Keswick Campsite in Cumbria, the River Don and Dutch River at West Cowick in East Yorkshire, Cogenhoe Mill Caravan Site in Northamptonshire, areas between Worcester and Gloucester along the River Severn, and parts of Wareham in Dorset.
Some 68 flood alerts, for places where flooding is possible, are also in place at locations across England and Wales.
Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, warned drivers not to attempt to plough through surface water on roads where there has been heavy rain.
She said: “Heavy and persistent rainfall could lead to surface water and river flooding in some communities in the south of England, parts of the Midlands, Lincolnshire and East Anglia on Wednesday, Thursday and into Friday for slower responding rivers.
“Environment Agency teams are out on the ground clearing grills and screens, erecting temporary flood barriers and operating flood defences as required.
“We urge people to keep away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car. ”
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has not issued any flood warnings, and Scotland is forecast to have the driest weather in the build up to Christmas.
Cloudy weather bringing outbreaks of rain over Wales and southern and central England is expected on Tuesday evening, with this wet weather spreading north overnight.
Clearer skies are expected for much of Scotland and Northern Ireland, where temperatures will be cooler and a sprinkling of coastal showers are expected.
Heavy rain for the southern half of the nation from Wednesday morning means Christmas Eve is likely to bring water-logged roads for many, with brighter and drier weather expected in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Daytime temperatures are due to be mild for the time of year, from 4C averages in Aberdeen to 12C in Plymouth, before the weather turns cooler on Christmas Eve night – with frost expected in northern areas.