UK storm forecast: ‘Active jet stream’ to churn 70mph winds

Boxing Day Weather: Met Office forecast

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Winds at nearly 70mph are set to strike Britain during a mid-week washout, according to forecasters. After two days of weather warnings for snow and ice in the north of England and Scotland, an “active jet stream” from the Atlantic is set to push in from the south of England, bringing rains of up to 5mm an hour. And on New Years Eve, winds peak at 109km/h (67.7mph) after high and low pressure collides in the south.

Jim Dale, from British Weather Services, told that an “active jet stream” will bring the worst of the weather midweek, with a small chance of another named storm in the New Year.

He said: “When the jet stream’s moving across us, there’s always a chance that you get this sort of storm potential.

“During previous Januarys and late Decembers, there’s been a tendency of them. We’re in that run of where the jet stream is quite active, so winds are going to be increase, you’ll see that over the next few days.

“It’s just how deep the low pressures go and where they actually end up, where the centre of them goes, and that gives the background risk of a storm being named.”

Mr Dale noted however there is “nothing in the charts at the moment to say” a named storm would occur, but added a north/south divide in conditions is likely, as is “fairly traditional”.

In the meantime, a weather pattern of wet and windy weather resembling a “ribbon” will impact the UK in the lead up to 2023, he said.

According to WXCharts graphics, much of the UK is set to be blanketed by rain come Wednesday morning.

At 3am on Friday, winds of up to 96km/h (59.6mph) will strike the South West of England.

While winds buffet this part of the UK, a plume of rain pushing from the Atlantic will have localised in the centre of Britain, with the jet stream pushing from the south bringing up to 5mm an hour.

By 6am, these winds will have rapidly moved across the UK, pushing past the South West and into the South East in areas like Norwich and Essex.

At the the same time, rain will also push into the North Sea, leaving only scattered showers and some snow in Scotland.

Overnight into New Years Eve, winds pick up again, with a high of 109km/h featuring in the Irish Sea at midnight.

Mr Dale assured the UK won’t see anything like the conditions in the US, where historic winter weather has caused widespread disruption and led to the deaths of at least 48 people.

He said the Atlantic pressure “conveyer belt” will bring only “periodic” winds and rains.

“Between now and the end of January, I would say it’s probably odds on there will be (a storm) or two,” he said.

“Cast your mind back to January and February this year, there were some beauties, so there’s every chance we could see another one.

“The sea temperatures are still slightly above average, and the rest of it we have to wait and see.”

NetWeather’s Paul Michaelwaite said a “brief rise in pressure ahead of an Atlantic system will arrive on Tuesday”.

Writing for the agency’s website, he said: “That will bring a band of rain west to east, with snow up over the higher ground of Scotland. It’ll be windy too, with gales near exposed coasts.

“The next spell of rain will spread up from the southwest overnight and into Wednesday, along with strong winds again – especially in the south. We’ll need to keep an eye on increasingly strong winds for southern Britain later in the day and into Thursday as a low pressure system crosses the country further north.

“Thursday itself looks blustery and showery, with some quite cold air in place – so those showers are likely to be wintry up over the hills and in Scotland. The next spell of wet, windy weather won’t be too far off, though, waiting in the wings to spread in for the end of the week.

“The weekend keeps a very similar theme coming, with 2023 set to get off to an unsettled start.”

It comes as the Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for snow and ice across the UK.

Weather warnings for snow and ice are in place across Scotland until 6pm tonight with a risk of icy surfaces causing some travel disruptions.

A yellow warning for ice is also in place across the west coast of Scotland down to Manchester until 10am on Tuesday, with a risk of ice on untreated surfaces.

Warnings for ice are in place across Central, Tayside and Fife, East Midlands, Highlands and Eilean Siar, North East England, North West England, SW Scotland Lothian Borders, Strathclyde and Yorkshire and Humber.

The Met Office warns of “icy patches” on untreated areas leading to a “greater chance” of injuries and accidents.

It added: “Patchy snow on higher routes, both from wintry showers this evening, and also on leading edge of rain early on Tuesday, making for somewhat difficult driving conditions.”

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