19/12/2012 10:54 GMT | Updated 19/12/2012 11:45 GMT

UK Weather: White Christmas Unlikely As Flood Warnings Issued

It's going to be far from a white Christmas this year but very, very wet for the UK, according to forecasters.

Weather experts are predicting a deluge of raining starting on Wednesday will be accompanied by driving winds that will annihilate any hopes for a wonderfully festive white Christmas.

The weather is expected to be so severe the Environment Agency has issued a series of flood warnings for parts of the country.

white christmas

Not this year, folks

Successive bands of heavy rain will move across the country, with Northamptonshire among the regions which are at particular risk.

The Environment Agency said large swathes of southern and south western England, south east Wales and the Midlands should prepare for the possibility of flooding on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

Areas of England and Wales were last month engulfed by flood water that surged through streets and down roads, cutting off whole communities and forcing dozens to flee their homes.

Rivers burst their banks and fields were flooded as several days' rain fell in just a few hours.

With the ground already saturated, the wet weather is likely to lead to property flooding from rivers and surface water as well as disruption to road and rail networks.

The counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex and Northamptonshire are particularly at risk, and people are being urged to keep up to date with the latest information from the Environment Agency website, sign up to free flood warnings, check their route for disruption before travelling, and not to drive or walk through floodwater.

Craig Woolhouse, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: "Our teams are out around the clock to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding, clearing drainage channels and ensuring that flood defences are working properly.

"We urge people to keep up to date with the weather forecast and local news overnight and remain prepared for flooding in their area by signing up to receive free flood warnings and staying away from dangerous flood water."

Forecasters this week warned people to expect up to seven days of unsettled conditions as a series of wet weather systems engulf the UK.

Those in areas at risk should check the Environment Agency website for the latest information: and sign up for free flood warnings on the Environment Agency's website, or by calling the Environment Agency Flood Line on 0845 988 1188.