Christmas Day weather forecast: Rain set to lash UK as areas of Scotland to get White Christmas snow

ITV Weather's Becky Mantin explains what counts as a White Christmas - and how likely we are to see one this year

A washout is in store for many today, with rain and wind set to lash the UK as families tuck in to their Christmas dinner.

Some parts of the country will be exposed to “persistent rain” by afternoon on Christmas Day, before possible thunderstorms and hail on Boxing Day.

However, those in the Scottish Highlands can expect a White Christmas, with as much as 10cm (4") of snow expected to fall.

A Met Office yellow warning is in place for most of the Scottish Highlands, as well as some lowland areas, from 9pm on Christmas Day to 6pm on Boxing Day.

Met Office meteorologist Rachel Ayers said: “Christmas Day will be a windy and generally mild day for many with a mixture of sunny spells and showers.

Christmas Day weather forecast for the UK. Credit: ITV Weather

“Showers will be mostly focused in the west where it is possible bands of showers will form some of which will move moving across southern and southeastern England later on bringing some more persistent rain.

“Across the northwest it will turn colder later with showers turning wintry to progressively lower levels.

“Boxing Day will see a cold start with a frost likely in the north.

“Once a band of cloud and rain and showers clears southeastwards, it will be a dry day for many with sunny spells.

“Showers, which will be wintry in places, will continue across Scotland, Northern Ireland and far northern England, locally these could be heavy with hail or a thunderstorm possible.

“Any accumulating snow will be mainly over high ground where there is a risk of blizzards.

“Showers easing into the later part of the afternoon.

“Windy for all, with gales in places especially across the Northern Isles.”

Heavy rain and wind will continue into next week, she added.

The Environment Agency has issued 60 alerts for possible flooding in England while flood warnings, meaning flooding is likely, are in place for Hellingly and Horsebridge in Sussex and Weatherhill Stream at Smallfield in Surrey.

The snow and ice warning says: “Frequent blustery snow showers are likely to cause some travel disruption to higher routes.”

Christmas Day forecast by area

The Met Office Christmas Day forecasts for every region of the UK predict widespread rainy conditions and snow for parts of Scotland.

Here are the regional forecasts for Sunday, December 25:

  • North west England

Sunshine and blustery showers, with a band of rain arriving from the west later. It could become wintry in the very far north, but is expected to be mild. Maximum temperature: 9C.

  • North east England

Scattered showers or longer spells of rain are forecast. Some heavy rains are predicted, and are most likely to wash across the Pennines with some eastern areas staying dry, but breezy, and windy conditions over high ground.

Maximum temperature: 9C

  • Yorkshire and the Humber

The region is forecast to expect much of the same as the North East, with slightly warmer temperatures.

Maximum temperature 10C.

Spells of rain showers are forecast for large parts of the UK on Christmas Day. Credit: PA
  • West Midlands

Sunshine and blustery showers with a band of rain expected to arrive in the northwest later in the day, conditions will feel mild.

Maximum temperature: 5C

  • East Midlands

Isolated showers are forecast across the Peak District throughout the morning, but the day is otherwise expected to be generally dry and bright before becoming cloudier with some outbreaks rain spreading north. The prediction is for a generally breezy day, windier over high ground.

Maximum temperature: 10C

  • Southwest England

Sunshine and blustery showers are forecast to continue during a mild day, with a more persistent spell of rain affecting the south and east in the afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 12C.

  • Southeast England

Isolated showers and some bright or sunny spells are forecast, before rain breaks out in the afternoon, which could become heavy in some areas, growing windy along the coastline. Maximum temperature: 11C.

  • Greater London

London is also expected to experience isolated showers amid bright or sunny spells in the morning, before rain breaks in the afternoon. Rains are forecast to become heavy in some areas.

Maximum temperature: 11C

Residents in northwest Scotland are expected to enjoy a White Christmas this year. Credit: PA
  • East of England

The East Coast has a similarly mild, albeit breezier, outlook as London's forecast. Outbreaks of rain are due to arriver through the afternoon and potentially become heavier.

Maximum temperature: 11C

  • Wales

A forecast for sunshine and blustery showers is set to be washed out by showers arriving from the west later. Conditions should feel mild, except for on high ground where the outlook is for wintry conditions.

Maximum temperature: 11C

  • Northern Ireland

Showers are forecast to dampen the west in the morning and east by the afternoon. Wintry conditions in the evening are likely to being strengthening winds.

Maximum temperature: 7C

  • Scotland

A yellow National Severe Weather Warning has been issued by the Met office for snow and ice for parts of northern and western Scotland. The alert is in place from 9pm on Christmas Day to 6pm on Boxing Day.

Parts of Scotland will also see a White Christmas, with snow showers expected in the northwest late on Christmas Day.

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