UK weather forecast – MORE rain and 50mph gales to hit Britain this weekend

Last night saw 50mph gales and torrential rainy weather with more forecast by the end of the weekend.

Intense downpours caused chaos during the Friday rush hour as wet and windy weather pushed in from the south west.

And while Saturday will start brighter, with sunny spots and light rain bothering Scotland, the next day will be a different story.

Sunday will see isolated showers hit the north in the morning, with thick clouds bringing rain across the country for the rest of the day.

It will clear in the evening, as clouds break up over the south west, according to the Met Office.

It comes after a night of torrential rain, which sparked flooding in many places, with motorists warned to take care on the roads.

Around 2.8million people were expected to start making their Christmas journeys on what's been dubbed "Frantic Friday".

But Thames Valley Police have warned there are huge "lakes" on the roads in their region after heavy downpours on Thursday night.

They warned: "If a car is going too fast and hits one of these sheets of water, it will aquaplane and crash.

"Motorists should take heed of the conditions and slow down – it's better to arrive late for Christmas than to not arrive at all because you're in hospital or on a mortuary slab."

The south west has also been affected with the road from Totnes to Avonwick in Devon is blocked by floods at several places.

Trees have been blown down by the gales and where they have hit power lines, homes are blacked out.

Met Office meterologist Aidan McGivern said: ""Gusts will be 40mph or 50mph, and there's a risk of even stronger winds across south western parts of Wales and the south west of England.

"That moves into central and northern parts of England into Friday evening, so if you're travelling through rush hour and into the evening watch out for that.

"There'll be some heavy rainfall and strong gusty winds associated with it as well.

"Elsewhere, showers continue to feed in across Scotland, Northern Ireland, a few more rattling through South Wales and the south west.

"Clear skies emerging elsewhere, most places staying up into the mid to high single figures overnight, but a touch of frost possible across the north of Scotland."

For today, though, it'll be a much better picture with a fine start and plenty of sunshine for most, he said.

Mr McGivern continued: "Sunshine across much of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but we'll see further showers coming into central and southern parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and north west England.

"There'll be one or two dotted elsewhere but for many it's looking like a bright Saturday."

More weather systems move in on Sunday and will bring more heavy rain for parts of Wales and the south west.

The rain's set to spread into North Wales, the Midlands and the north of England as the day wears on.

It'll be a blustery day in the south west with winds picking up, the forecaster said.

The rains come as bookies slashed the odds on it being the wettest December on record.

Ladbrokes have cut odds from 8/1 to just 3/1 on this being the wettest December ever.

Meanwhile, it's just a 1/4 shot on any part of the UK seeing snow on Christmas Day.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "Punters dreaming of a White Christmas may well get their wish, but not before seeing potentially record-breaking rainfall."

As well as weather conundrums, there will be 229 miles of roadworks and rail works for travellers to battle with too.

Those travelling on some of the country's main roads and rail networks could face delays on Friday December 21.

Schools breaking up on Friday, December 21 – the closest end-of-term date to Christmas since 2012 – will trigger the most congested getaway rush for years, the RAC said.

"Frantic Friday" will see 19 million vehicles jam roads, the AA said, as commuters clash with school pick-ups and getaway traffic.

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