Torrential rain to cause havoc on roads and disrupt last-minute Christmas trips

Britons making last-minute Christmas shopping trips or journeys could face delays as heavy rain and strong winds hammer the UK.

With just two days until the big day, some motorways will be jammed, airports will be busy and shopping centres will be packed.

But a nasty weather front bringing torrential rain will likely slow things down, with the heaviest downpours expected in northern England and Northern Ireland.

Rain is likely to be widespread and some places are at risk of localised flooding – 33 areas are still under flood alerts as of Sunday morning following days of downpours.

Looking ahead, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will likely be dry and cloudy in most places.

Until then, outbreaks of rain will spread eastwards across southern and central parts of the UK throughout the day on Sunday.

It will be very windy along English Channel coasts.

Met Office meteorologist Ellie Creed told the Express: “Rain on the cards some of it quite heavy for northern England and Northern Ireland.

“Temperatures down here are on the mild side but further north a pretty chilly start to the day.

“As we continue through the rest of the morning we can see rain continuing particularly for northern England and Northern Ireland.”

In Scotland, it will be mostly sunny after a chilly start, with patchy early fog slow to clear.

There is a risk of potentially freezing fog in places in the early morning.

The weather will be miserable in many places through the day.

Temperatures will be mild – hitting 13C in the south and 7C in the north – but they will not be pleasant in wet and windy conditions.

There are 31 flood alerts in place in England and two in Wales as of Sunday morning.

Christmas Eve should be much drier with a widespread frost to begin the day and mist in some places.

Christmas Day will bring dry and cloudy weather with mild temperatures.

Is there a flood alert in my area?

Thirty-one flood alerts are in place in England and two in Wales as of Sunday morning.

Here are the areas under threat:

North East England (1)

Lower River Nidd

North West England (1)

Upper River Derwent, Stonethwaite Beck and Derwent Water

The Midlands (10)

Kempsey Village

Lower River Soar in Leicestershire

River Lugg south of Leominster

River Severn in Shropshire

River Severn in Worcestershire

River Trent in Derbyshire

River Wye in Herefordshire

Severn Vyrnwy Confluence

Tern and Perry Catchments

Upper Teme

East of England (2)

Alconbury Fords in Cambridgeshire

Hail Weston Ford in Cambridgeshire

South West England (13)

Exmoor Rivers

Lower Frome and tributaries

Mid Bristol Avon Area

Middle Exe Area

River Severn in Gloucestershire

River Wye in Gloucestershire

River Yeo and River Parrett Moors around Muchelney and Thorney

St Austell and Par Rivers

South East Somerset Rivers, Upper Reaches

Upper Bristol Avon Area

Upper River Tamar

West Cornwall Rivers

West Somerset Streams

South East England (4)

Christchurch Harbour

Eastern Yar

Lower Avon and tributaries

Tidal Stour area from Fordwich to Stonar Cut

Wales (2)

South Pembrokeshire

Upper Severn in Powys

Met Office five-day forecast


Cloud and outbreaks of rain will spread eastwards across southern and central parts, locally heavy at first.

It will be mostly sunny across Scotland, after a chilly start, with patchy early fog slow to clear.

Windy along English Channel coasts.

Sunday night

Rain across England and Wales becoming confined to south-western areas by morning.

Otherwise, dry and clear with frost and fog or freezing fog patches developing.

Monday (Christmas Eve)

Cloudy, mild with patchy rain and drizzle over south Wales and south-west England.

Fine, dry and cooler elsewhere with overnight fog slow to clear, possibly lingering all day in places.

Tuesday (Christmas Day)

Dry with clear spells in the north and east Christmas Day, cloudy in the west with some rain/drizzle.


Otherwise, rather cloudy, mostly mild with some rain in the north-west Wednesday.

What is the forecast for New Year’s Eve?

In the long-term, the Met Office is expecting generally settled conditions next week, although some weather systems across the north and west are likely to bring some rain and possibly hill snow for Scotland.

The precise forecast will be known in a few days.

It said: "Generally quiet weather is expected to end the week, with high pressure to the southeast of the UK.

"A frontal system is likely to push from west to east across the north of the country on Friday, with some rain and possibly hill snow for Scotland, with colder weather following for a time.

"High pressure is likely to remain close by to the UK next weekend and into early January with generally settled conditions continuing.

"Occasional frontal systems across the north and west likely to bring some rain and possibly hill snow for Scotland, with clearer and showery conditions following.

"Any clear spells overnight will bring a risk of frost or fog. Temperatures generally staying on the mild side, but perhaps colder at times in the north."

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