Storm Pia, which was named by the Danish Met Institute, is gradually moving towards mainland Europe, where its impacts are expected to be more severe.

In the UK, winds will ease for many on Thursday afternoon, with further wet weather likely for some, especially in western areas.

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.

Yellow warnings for snow and ice have been issued for Shetland and northeastern parts of Scotland over the next few days. For Shetland, 2-5 cm of snow is possible in a few places from frequent showers on Friday into Saturday, which could lead to some travel disruption.

A white Christmas, but not for many

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 settling snow likely confined to northern Scotland on Friday night into Saturday morning. Central and eastern areas of the UK could remain mostly dry.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Dave Hayter said: “It’ll be a particularly wet weekend in the north and west, with breezy conditions for many. While those further south will generally be drier, some sporadic showers could spread into the southwest at times, as well as some more persistent rain for Wales on Sunday.

“Christmas Day will likely see a continuation of unsettled, mainly showery, weather in the northwest, including Northern Ireland. While the day may start damp in southern and central areas, that rain should clear into the English Channel through the evening.”

A White Christmas – which is defined by the Met Office as a single snowflake falling on Christmas Day – is likely, with wintry showers likely over high ground in the far north of Scotland.

Further ahead 

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

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