The upcoming Christmas weekend is likely to bring with it strong winds for England and Wales, prompting the Met Office to issue a weather warning.
Wind speeds of up to 60mph are likely in many places, the forecaster said – and some places could see speeds of between 70 and 80mph.
As a result, the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for England and Wales, meaning disruption to transport and power supplies is possible.
Rain is also expected to spread southwards from the North West of England, with the unsettled weather likely to remain in the run-up to the new year.
Watch: Parts of UK remain flooded after heavy rainfall
Yellow weather warnings are also in place for parts of the country in the run-up to Christmas Day, with unsettled rainy weather and a chance of flooding in the south.
The yellow rain warning covers all parts of the UK south of Birmingham, and is in place from Wednesday morning until 6am on Christmas Eve.
⚠️ Yellow Warning issued ⚠️
Strong winds across England and Wales and the far south of Scotland
Saturday (Boxing Day) 1500 – Sunday 1200
Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs
Stay #WeatherAware pic.twitter.com/jTfHg5JJAo
— Met Office (@metoffice) December 23, 2020
Disruption to travel and power lines is also 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.
These include 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. ”
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.
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