Christmas weather

Strengthening W to SW winds will continue to affect Cumbria for the next few hours with gusts typically in the range 50 to 60mph but with a few gusts reaching into the 60-70mph bracket where fully exposed or at higher elevations. The strongest winds will be across the north of the county but speeds should start to ease down later this morning. Minor impacts are possible on the transport networks. No official Met Office warning has been issued in association with the winds.

A much better day rainfallwise than yesterday – just a few pockets affecting Cumbria this morning but otherwise generally dry across the region (which has fewer flood alerts/warnings in force than any other part of England and Wales). Largely dry this evening and overnight although towards the latter part of the night some patchy and mainly light rain will edge up from the south into Cheshire and perhaps parts of Merseyside and Greater Manchester but amounts from this should be small. This morning’s Flood Guidance Statement is liable to show green (very low flood risk) across the region for today and the coming four days. Meanwhile the Met Office Yellow Warning for rain covering Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire, will expire at midday today, last night’s rain having already cleared through these areas.

Monday will be fairly cloudy with the patchy light rain in the south of the region making erratic progress northwards before a more coherent band of rain transfers eastwards across all areas later in the afternoon and early evening. Amounts of rainfall from this latter system look relatively small and no major impacts are anticipated.

Through Christmas Day and Boxing Day (Tue/Wed), whilst there could well be a few showers/pockets of rain scattered around almost anywhere, amounts should be pretty small and there should be a reasonable amount of dry weather available on both days to help water levels reduce.

The overall picture through the week, however, remains largely unsettled and the next organised weather system will be knocking on our doors come Wednesday night and into Thursday with further developments likely towards Friday/Saturday. Hence, although the situation is a slowly improving one in terms of rainfall amounts over the coming few days, the saturated/near-saturated state of the ground would suggest continued vigilance towards potential impacts from future rainfall events,

The plan over the festive period is to issue daily updates only when really necessary. With luck we will be able to get through at least as far as Wednesday night/Thursday without the need for further issues.