- In some parts of Scotland, temperatures can drop as low as -7 degrees Celsius as winter begins to really bite
- Forecasters warn of the huge downpours that hit Great Britain on Saturday and the risk of flooding
The first blizzards of winter appear on the horizon after forecasters warned of a “marked” change in temperatures across the country, with temperatures dropping to -7C overnight in the Highlands of Scotland.
Met Office meteorologists say the cold will continue for several days into the weekend, with frost in north-east Scotland and even snowfall in hillier areas.
However, heavy downpours are expected in parts of the country before that date, with the worst of the downpours expected to hit southern England and Wales. The yellow weather warning was in force until 6 p.m. but was lifted earlier than expected.
Weather maps show large pockets of rain falling across south and south-east England in the afternoon, with a fresh band of rain covering Wales and western parts of England and Scotland in the late evening.
The Met Office says Thursday will be defined by “bursts” of heavy rainfall in these areas, turning to rain in the southwest, with frost and fog developing overnight.
LONDON: A dog walker makes the most of her wellies while walking on Wimbledon Common on Thursday
KENT: Grim conditions for drivers on the M25 between Swanley and Orpington
Heavy rainfall is expected to hit the UK on Saturday, with southern coastlines hit hardest by downpours and wind gusts of up to 80km/h.
CAMBRIDGESHIRE: A car is making a splash at Sutton Gault on Wednesday. There are 10 flood warnings in force across England and forecasters say flooding is likely to occur over the weekend
YORK: Several flood warnings remain in force in Yorkshire, where the River Ouse has burst its banks after Storm Debi (pictured: York yesterday)
Friday is expected to be cool but largely dry and sunny, with temperatures barely rising to double digits across most of the country.
But it will be on Saturday that the heaviest downpours will cover most of the country, and the temperature will reach around 14 degrees Celsius.
No weather warnings have been issued, but coastal residents have warned they can expect gusts of up to 50 miles per hour and treacherous conditions.
Met Office forecaster Aidan McGivern said: “Cold conditions will remain initially in parts of central and eastern Scotland early on Saturday.
There will be a bit of frost across the north-east of Scotland, with flakes of snow appearing over the hills and mountains as rain falls into cold air.
“It’s much milder as we start further south and southwest on Saturday. However, by midday it will be wet and windy in many parts of the country.
“Not at all pleasant if you’re heading out on Saturday morning: heavy rainfall across much of the UK, heavy cloud cover and strong winds, gusting to 50mph, around the south coast.”
Saturday’s showers are expected to ease by mid-day as the rain moves further east towards the continent, although there will still be scattered showers across Northern Ireland, the west of Scotland and south-east England.
According to the Met Office, as much as 75mm of rain will fall in parts of Wales and the south coast between today and Monday.
However, snowfall is expected in the Scottish Highlands on Saturday evening.
Ten flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected – are in force for parts of Yorkshire, the Lake District, Somerset and Sussex.
Meteorologist McGivern added: “We are seeing more wet weather in places where the ground is particularly saturated: the hillier parts of Wales and the south and southwest.
“Normally it wouldn’t be this bad, but with the track getting close to saturated it could cause a few issues heading into the weekend.”
The latest downpour comes after Storm Debi brought heavy rain and strong winds to several parts of the UK earlier this week.
It is the fourth named storm so far this winter, hitting the country with gusts exceeding 70 miles per hour and massive downpours flooding roads.