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WEATHER

Stormy Pattern Across U.K. Continues Into 2014

The parade of storms which have plagued the United Kingdom and Ireland for much of December with wind, rain and higher elevation snow will continue through the rest of the month and into at least the first few days of 2014.

London's Heathrow airport has picked up at least a trace of rain in 23 of the first 28 days of December, including 19 straight days between Dec. 9 and Dec. 27. Farther north in Glasgow, Scotland, 27 of the first 28 days have featured at least some rainfall. Both cities are running close to 150 percent of average rainfall for the month.

While most of the United Kingdom will see a dry day on Sunday, the first storm system will drag a moisture-laden cold front into Ireland by the afternoon with increasing rain and wind by the afternoon. The front will sweep eastward Sunday night through the day on Monday bringing rainy spells to the U.K., along with gale force winds near the coast. Across the highest terrain of northern Scotland, snow will continue to pile up when the heaviest precipitation moves in Sunday night into Monday.

After a brief dry spell in the wake of the first storm, a second storm will move to a position just northwest of Scotland Monday night and sit there for several days.

Consequently, this second storm will drag a second frontal boundary into Ireland Monday night and then across the U.K., to round out 2013 on Tuesday with another round of rain, gale force winds and higher elevation snow for northern Scotland.

A third storm will pinwheel into Ireland and the United Kingdom to ring in the New Year Wednesday with yet another round of gale force winds, rain and higher elevation snow. The track of this third storm will have to be monitored as it will track farther south than the first two systems which means there could be an enhanced threat for winds exceeding gale force as well as heavy rain.

Given how wet is has been across the U.K., so far this December, there is a risk of flooding in areas the experience the heaviest rain through the next several days.

Even beyond Wednesday, the weather pattern favors multiple system which will bring continuous rounds of rainy spells, wind, and higher elevation snow. The storm track later next week may shift south enough to threaten more of central and southern Europe with unsettled weather.