23 Dec 2016

Christmas weather: very windy and no snow for most

Storm Barbara has been passing to the north of the UK during Friday, bringing gales to many northern and western areas – and even severe gales for the far north west of Scotland for a time.

Rough weather is never a good thing on the busiest travel day of the year, as millions of us head to our final destinations for the Christmas break.

Storm Barbara wind graphic
Storm Barbara wind graphic: earth.nullschool.net

Nevertheless, our weather seems to be in fifth gear at the moment, with a powerful jet stream above the Atlantic Ocean spawning deep areas of low pressure and catapulting them our way.

With lots of us travelling over the festive period, I thought I’d take a look at the weather day by day.

Christmas Eve

Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England will have heavy showers in the morning (wintry over the Scottish mountains), giving way to persistent rain through the afternoon and evening.

Elsewhere, it’ll be a mostly fine day, although a little rain will arrive in the west towards evening.

Whilst it won’t be as windy as Friday, northern parts of the UK will still be very windy, with gusts of 55-65mph widely and locally 70-80mph for the far north of Scotland.

Christmas Day

England and Wales will be mostly cloudy, with a little drizzle in the west and just occasional bright spells elsewhere.

Scotland and Northern Ireland will see rain slide southwards, followed by sunshine and showers, which will turn to snow over the Highlands during the evening.

It’ll be another very windy day for northern parts of the UK, with gusts widely reaching 50-60mph and locally 70mph – especially towards the far north of Scotland.

It’ll be very mild on Christmas Day, with temperatures widely reaching 12-15C – not far off the warmest Christmas Day on record, which stands at 15.6C.

Boxing Day

The Met Office has officially named Storm Conor, which is surprising given that it’s likely to be further north than Storm Barbara has been, with strong winds a notch down for most places.

Nevertheless, it’ll be another very windy day for the north of the UK, with gusts widely touching 50-60mph.

The Northern Isles will turn stormy for a time, with gusts of 70-80mph resulting in an Amber “be prepared” weather warning being issued. There could be some travel disruption, as well as some structural damage.

Met Office warnings
Weather warnings during Christmas: Met Office

Aside from the wind, there’ll be heavy showers in the north, with dry, fine weather in the south.

Settling down towards New Year

Thankfully, after a stormy spell over Christmas, it will start to settle down into next week, with high pressure building across much of the UK.

This will bring dry, bright days, but it will turn chillier with frost and fog at night – which may be slow to clear and cause some delays to flights.

High pressure over UK
High pressure over UK next week: Met Office

Some weather computer models are hinting that it might turn colder for New Year with a northerly wind from the Arctic. However, at this stage, the detail is still pretty uncertain.

Don’t forget, you can get the latest forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website. I’ll also be posting occasional updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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