As we head towards the weekend most of the UK will be enveloped in a polar maritime air mass bringing cold weather.

Most of England and Wales will have windy conditions today and overnight with inland gusts widely 40-50 mph and possibly 60 mph in a few places, whilst gusts of 70 mph will occur in exposed areas. A yellow wind warning is in place for this. There are rain warnings in place for parts of northern England, southern Scotland and northwest Wales today and early tomorrow, where heavy rain could lead to impacts such as surface water flooding and delays to transport.

Chief Meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said; It’s going to be very windy for much of England and Wales today with some heavy rain at times, especially for southern Scotland, Northern Ireland, North Wales and Cumbria. However parts of East Anglia and the south east will stay dry with some sunshine and temperatures reaching 16 Celsius”.

Meanwhile a forecast for heavy snow in Scotland has resulted in a yellow warning for northern and central Scotland from midnight until 1pm on Thursday. 2-5 cm of snow is likely to accumulate fairly widely within the warning area, with 10-20 cm possible over higher ground.

RAC spokesman Pete Williams said: “We are warning drivers across the UK that high winds will make conditions challenging. The advice is for drivers to slow down and ensure they double the normal recommended two-second distance between their car and the vehicle in front. Hold the steering wheel firmly and be prepared to be buffeted by gusts of wind. 

“Drivers in Scotland who travel on roads on high ground and mountain passes should be prepared for snowy conditions. Its wise to pack a ‘winter survival kit’ including a shovel, blanket, additional warm clothing, a torch, a flask with a warm drink and ensure your mobile phone is fully charged and consider letting your friends, family or colleagues know when you expect to arrive.  It may be worth delaying your journey or taking an alternative route until conditions improve and the snow ploughs have made roads fully passable. Keep tuned to the weather and travel forecasts on local radio. Check our Winter Driving pages on for more advice on driving in extreme weather and tips on how to prepare your car for winter.”

Once the windy, mild (in the south) weather clears away we will see colder air pushing its way south across  the country leading to a temperature drop for this weekend. Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday will struggle to get above single figures, and there will be widespread frosts across much of the country. For southern England temperatures may reach 8 or 9 C whereas northern England may only reach 5 or 6 C.  There is the potential for showers to fall as snow during this cold spell, even to quite low levels. However the ground is still warm and accumulations of snow are unlikely.

Keep up to date with what the weather is doing in your area using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.