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The country faces a “timeline of different hazards” this week as Storm Christoph moves in, a weather forecaster has said.
Weather warnings for heavy rain are in force across the UK, but the unsettled conditions could also bring significant flooding, high winds and snowfall as the storm engulfs the country through the middle of the week.
Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon said that rain is “initially” the main concern but the picture will change as low pressure could introduce colder air.
He explained: “As we go through the week and the low pressure that is bringing these fronts of rainfall that are persistent and heavy over the next few days … as that low pressure moves east and out into the North Sea, the winds will become a thing really later in the week.
“Also as the low pressure moves away it pulls down a north-westerly airflow which brings much colder air across the UK again which then presents a further risk of snow.”
Mr Claydon described the situation as “a timeline of different hazards as we go through the week but the first hazard is certainly of rain and that’s reflected in the warnings at the moment”.
The most serious weather warning – amber for rain – has been in place across parts of the Midlands and northern England since Tuesday morning, alongside less serious yellow warnings for rain across Wales, Northern Ireland, northern England and southern Scotland.