BBC Weather: Carol Kirkwood warns 'severe gales' to hit 70mph as widespread rain returns

Weather meteorologist warned strong winds will continue to plague the UK on Thursday as two weather fronts passing through the UK unleash another wave a rain over the country. Ms Kirkwood warned the winds could turn into "severe gales" hitting up to 70mph in southwest England as well as exposed hills. The BBC Weather forecaster said: "What we have is a quiet start of the day although it’s windy at the moment across the north, the west and the south.

"That wind is going to strengthen through the day and it’s going to be accompanied by some rain so we’re all going to get a dose of rain before the day is through.

"We’ve got two weather fronts, one moving north and one moving wast, both bearing rain but just look at all those isobars. It is going to be windy, they are close together. As we head on through the first half of the day many of us will be dry, we’ll even see some sunshine but cloud building from the west."

Despite the winds, thermometers through Thursday are expected to remain in double figures but Ms Kirkwood warned the winds are going to affect the perception of the temperatures.

She continued: "Temperature-wise, we’re looking at 8C to 10C in the north, 11C to 12C in the south but it will be tempered by the wind.

"The strength of the wind will hit gales, actually across the north and the west – strongest winds across Wales and southwest England and then exposed hills, we could have severe gales with gusts up to 70mph. But it’s going to be windy wherever you are."

The two weather fronts are set to peter out overnight but two new fronts taking over on Friday are set to cause a significant temperature drop as well as the return of widespread showers, with the potential of thunderstorms and hails developing in some parts of the UK.

The BBC Weather meteorologist said: "As we head on through the evening and overnight the gales return to the north of Scotland, we say goodbye to the weather front in the south and behind we’ll have a plethora of showers following.

"In the hills in Scotland, it’ll be wintry, for England and for Wales you could see some thunder and lightning coming out of those and also some hail. And in rural areas, temperatures will be a bit lower than expected in the charts so there is the risk of frost and ice on untreated surfaces.

"That is because high pressure starts to dominate our weather. Around the top of the high pressure in the north of Scotland, it will be windy and we’ll some showers and will be wintry in the hills."

The added conditions are expected to settle on Friday and into the weekend, but temperatures are predicted to drop - with an average of around 8C across the country.

The drop in temperatures is due to a high-pressure system that Met Office forecaster Bonnie Diamond told the Daily Star could see “icy conditions” for some parts of the country.

The Met Office long-range forecast warned snow “could fall to lower levels at times” during bitterly cold interludes as we head into February.

The forecast said: “Through the end of January into February, we are likely to have higher pressure across the UK than during previous weeks. The northwest will probably see the wettest and windiest weather whilst further south and southeast it should be drier and brighter with an increased risk of frost and fog.

“There is a chance that drier, settled conditions could extend to all parts at times.

“Snow will be most likely over northern hills, but it could fall to lower levels at times, mainly in the north, during colder interludes.”

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