UK weather: 31 flood WARNING issued as weekend washout THREATENS Christmas getaways

UK weather: 31 flood WARNING issued as weekend washout THREATENS Christmas getaways

Britons travelling around the country ahead of Christmas have been to be prepared as a huge band of rain prepares to barrel through the country in the next 24 hours. Government officials across England and Wales have issued 31 flood warnings as many streams already at capacity threaten to overflow because of the new onslaught of rain. The have forecast a rather "soggy" weekend, saying Britain should expect a washout for most of Sunday. 

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: "Weather fronts move in during the start of Sunday. They will bring wet weather for wales, southwest England and then the heavy, steady rain moves into the Midlands, the rest of Wales, East Anglia, northern England.

"A cold, frosty and, in some places, foggy start of the day for parts of Scotland and a crisp Winter day will turn out to be across Scotland into the afternoon. Elsewhere a lot of cloud cover."

He continued: "We keep the wet weather there through central areas and then another bout of rain pushes them into the southwest at the end of Sunday.

"By , although that rain eases, it will be quite a soggy picture out there. Quite wet conditions on the ground of Wales and the southwest."

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The Environment Agency put out two flood alerts in force for north-east England, one for north-west England, five for the Midlands, one for the Anglian, seven for south-east England and one for south-west England.

Natural Resources Wales issued a further five flood warnings covering South Pembrokeshire, the Dyfi Catchment, the Vyrnwy Catchment, and the Upper Severn and River Wye in Powys.

Long-range forecasts have also sparked fears of a new system targeting the UK towards the new year. Some forecasters say a new icy blast could be worse this time around with bitterly cold weather showing signs of holding out through January and into February.

Jeff Knight, manager of modelling climate variability at the Met Office said: “There is now a very high likelihood of a Sudden Stratospheric Warming happening around the end of the year.

“This increases the chances of colder-than-average weather in January and the rest of winter.

“While overall the chances of a cold spell are increased, we will keep looking at forecasts to know exactly when any potential cold, snowy spells will occur.”

Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) is the result of air above the North Pole collapsing and warming allowing easterly winds to sweep into Britain.

Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden said: “The coldest temperatures of winter are likely to arrive through the beginning of January which is shaping up to be colder than average month overall.

“Several bouts of heavy and widespread snowfall are possible during this period, again these are expected through the early part of the month.

“Further snow is possible through February which is when we could see the most disruptive weather of the season.”

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