Wet and windy weekend predicted
Britain is braced for a wet and windy weekend as forecasters warned of gusts of up to 60mph across swathes of the country.
Deluges are expected to batter northern England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with localised flooding in some areas.
But weathermen said abnormally mild temperatures would continue over the next few days, rising to highs of around 14C in some areas.
Lindsay Dovey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the downpours and high winds would remain until early next week, before the country experiences a return to biting cold conditions.
"There's rain coming from the West tomorrow and that's going to spread slowly east, across most of the country," she said. "It's going to be very windy as well and there'll be gusts of around 60mph in north west Scotland. Elsewhere we are looking at gusts of about 40mph."
The rain will continue throughout the day and into Sunday, she said, with flooding in some areas and wind ripping branches from trees.
While this is likely to be worst in northern England, Scotland and northern Ireland, regions such as East Anglia and the Midlands are unlikely to escape unscathed. Winds of up to 45mph could also hit London.
Offering Britons some respite from the Arctic conditions of last month, average temperatures will stay between 9C and 12C across the country.
"It'll be very, very mild for January, reaching up to 14C in some places," Ms Dovey said. "Slowly temperatures will start dropping on Monday but it will still be mild."
The mercury is expected to fall again by Wednesday.