Just in time for Boxing Day and the weekend, a winter storm is set to dive into the United Kingdom and central Europe with rain and disruptive snow.
The storm will first drop into the United Kingdom on Friday before reaching the border of France and Germany on Saturday, then impacting the Balkan Peninsula to end the weekend.
While the majority of the storm will be a rain event for the United Kingdom, a widespread swath of disruptive snow will target central Europe.
Storm's Impacts on the United Kingdom and Ireland
The storm will spread its rain across Ireland and central/southern parts of the United Kingdom in a northwest-to-southeast fashion Friday through Friday night.
The best time of the day for Boxing Day shoppers in London will be during the morning as the soaking rain will arrive in the afternoon and evening.
"Across the higher elevations of Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and northern England, enough cold air will arrive for the rain to mix with and change to snow," stated AccuWeather.com Tyler Roys.
"Snowfall amounts here will be on the order of 2-8 cm (1-3 inches)."
Even residents of Birmingham and London will see the rain eventually change over to wet snowflakes by Saturday, but no accumulations are expected.
Storm Reaches Central Europe on Saturday
Wet snowflakes will also fly around Paris on Saturday, but accumulating snow will whiten other low elevations of central Europe during the first half of the weekend from the Netherlands and Belgium to the Alps.
As the storm drops from the United Kingdom to central Europe, isolated wind gusts of 80 kph (50 mph) will get kicked up from France to western Germany Friday night through Saturday. Such winds could trigger additional flight delays and sporadic power outages.
"The storm will be particularly significant for portions of eastern France, western and southern Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands as being the first significant accumulation of snow this winter season," continued Roys.
"Timing will be poor for holiday travelers, as snow is expected to be heavy enough to delay flights and slow down major and secondary roadways."
Along the western edge of this snow zone, including in Amsterdam and Brussels, the snow will initially start as a period of rain. As temperatures fall and the transition to snow occurs, any wet or slushy roads or sidewalks will become slippery.
A total of 2-8 cm (1-3 inches) will accumulate in Brussels, Belgium, and Frankfurt, Germany, while 8-15 cm (3-6 inches) will bury Munich, Germany, by the time the snow winds down. Snow amounts will top 15 cm in the Alps.
Yet Another Winter Storm for the Balkans
Similar amounts are in store for the Dinaric Alps as the storm shifts to the Balkan Peninsula for the second half of the weekend. Around the western Black Sea, the steadiest snow and worst travel conditions will occur Sunday night.
For the Balkan Peninsula, the winter storm on Sunday will be on the heels of another snow event starting this weekend. That will only compound travel issues, added Roys.
Any roads and sidewalks that are not cleared of snow from the first storm will become even more difficult to travel on when the second storm rolls through.