A notably deep area of low pressure will track to the north of the UK over the Norwegian Sea through Wednesday night and into Thursday. This is expected to bring very strong winds and heavy showers to a large portion of the UK, with a Yellow National Severe Weather Warning covering Scotland, Northern Ireland, Northern England and the north of Wales.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, said: “From late Wednesday into Thursday, strong winds are likely to develop across a large area of the UK. We’ve issued a large yellow warning area where there’s a potential for some impacts, but gusts of 50-60mph are possible for large parts of central and northern areas of the UK.

“Exposed coasts and high ground could see gusts of 70-80mph at times, mainly across the far north of Scotland. There’s a chance this low pressure will continue to exert its influence into Friday, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest Met Office forecast. This system has been named Storm Pia by the Danish Met Service, with the system likely to have more severe impacts in Denmark.”

It’ll remain windy for many on Friday, with further periods of rain likely to sweep in from the west, and some snow across the Northern Isles of Scotland.

Christmas weather forecast

It remains generally rather unsettled for the weekend before Christmas, with further Atlantic frontal systems bringing rain and strong winds to parts of the UK. Rain will be heaviest in the west and northwest through the weekend, with any snow most likely confined to high ground in northern Scotland. Some central and eastern areas of the UK could remain mostly dry.

There are still some uncertainties in the details of the forecast for Christmas Day, as Paul explained: “Christmas Day looks like being fairly unsettled in northern and western areas. Any showers in the north could be wintry with hail and thunder, but even here, any snow will be mainly on high ground. The south of the country will see the best of the drier and brighter conditions. While temperatures will be near normal for the time of year it will be a windy day for many meaning it will feel colder.

“Beyond Christmas Day further rain or showers and strong winds are likely for many, and again any sleet and snow will be mainly over the hills of Scotland, as is often the case in December.  Further details will be available closer to the time.”

Further ahead 

Looking towards the New Year, the weather looks to remain unsettled with low pressure bringing breezy and wet conditions for many, but there will be some drier and brighter interludes.