A WHITE Christmas is still on the cards but a deluge of rain is expected to hit Gloucestershire first as families hit the roads on Monday.
Heavy rain and high winds forecast for the county are likely to give way to sleet or snow on Christmas Eve.
Flood warnings are in place for the River Wye in Gloucestershire but there are warnings of gales on Monday and Tuesday.
Although Wales will take the brunt of rain tomorrow, Met Office advisor Arwyn Harris said surface water flooding is possible
“Sunday looks relatively quiet, but we’ll see another weather system push gales and rain across the Uk on Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “We have yellow warnings for gales out for much of western UK for Monday and Tuesday, with the flood guidance statement yellow across Gloucestershire and parts of wider west midlands area. “This has the potential to develop into something quite significant during Monday and we are monitoring it carefully – there is a reasonable chance that we may need to expand the warnings area across the west midlands area as the system begins to develop and given that Monday is likely to be a day with a lot of people travelling, then there is the potential to see quite a bit of disruption.”
Wind and rain should clear on Christmas Eve and temperatures drop, he said. “Chances are it will be cold enough that some communities will get some sleet and snow showers for a time,” he said, adding it probably won’t be enough snow to cause many problems.
Dave Witts, secretary of the Tewkesbury-based Severn and Avon Valley Combined Flood Group, said he hoped any possible flooding in and around the town over Christmas would not be any worse than the usual winter flooding that occurs most years.
Tewkesbury has not had any flooding yet this winter but Mr Witts said it was possible that it might happen over the festive period, with many green areas already being saturated.
He said: “I just hope that the rainwater goes away quickly and then when the rivers break their banks, it will just be a normal Tewkesbury flood.”
He said he did not think flood levels would be anywhere near the disastrous ones of 2007, or even the fairly serious ones of 2012.
He added that ditch clearance work in the Tewkesbury area had helped to ease the situation but the local authorities still needed to carry out more.