A strong jet stream is developing and driving low pressure systems towards the UK . These will bring strong to gale force winds, with possible stormy conditions combined with periods of heavy rain from today (Thursday).

At the moment, there remains some uncertainty over the locations that will see the biggest impacts from the wind and rain. A National Severe Weather Warning for wind has been issued for Friday across southern England and Wales, it will be blustery throughout the UK and there will be some heavy rain across Northern Ireland, Wales and parts of South West England tomorrow (Friday). Although this is a distinct change to the weather we have experienced over the last few weeks, the influence of Atlantic weather systems is normal for this time of year.

Aidan McGivern, meteorologist and presenter, explains more about the weather we can expect to see over the next few days in the video below:

Paul Gundersen Chief Meteorologist, said: “From today we will see a change in the weather affecting most of the UK with a spell of wet and windy conditions through to the middle of next week. Although different to what we have experienced over the past few weeks it is currently not expected to be any more than usual winter weather. The weather systems are still developing and the forecast could change so it’s best to keep up to date with the latest weather forecast and warnings. At this moment in time, we have not named any of the low pressure systems heading our way over the next few days.”

Gareth Morrison, Lifesaving Delivery Manager for the RNLI said: "The water can be unpredictable at the best of times, but it is particularly dangerous during bad weather. We are urging everyone to respect the water and to keep safe during the upcoming rough weather and would remind people not to underestimate the distance waves can travel up the beach or harbour wall. Although it can be tempting to get close, it isn’t worth risking your life to take photos or to dodge waves.

"If you plan on going out walking after the storm, be wary. Storms change our landscape through coastal erosion so pay attention to warning signs, and don’t leave designated paths to look over the edge of clifftops."

RAC Traffic Watch spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Anyone travelling a serious distance in the south of the UK and driving on more exposed routes should expect strong, gusty winds on Friday. Reduce your speed, be extra vigilant of other road users and be particularly careful when overtaking high-sided vehicles, as you can buffeted off course.

“Standing water also represents a serious risk to drivers. The golden rule is if you don’t know how deep the water is, do not attempt to drive through it. Where possible we recommend avoiding pools of water on the road altogether to cut the risk of aquaplaning.

“Modern vehicles are better equipped to deal with bad weather than ever before, but they are still by no means water proof. You are risking expensive damage, and putting yourself and passengers at risk, if you drive into water that is of an unknown depth.”

Although it’s not unusual to see vigorous low pressure systems moving across the country at this time of year, so far this winter there have been relatively few of them, especially when compared to last winter.

Looking ahead, the weather looks set to remain changeable into the beginning of next week with frontal systems bringing wet and windy weather at times with some brief calmer, drier and brighter spells. Temperatures will most probably be around average for the time of year but with some colder interludes. From midweek there are some signs that we will see a return to more settled, drier and probably colder conditions, however details about this will change over the coming days.

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