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UK: Showers, Strong Winds to Greet High Street Shoppers on Black Friday

Unsettled weather will stretch across the United Kingdom on 27th November as millions set out in search of the best Black Friday deals on offer.

High street shoppers heading out early in Northern Ireland and Scotland will want to dress warmly as a strong cold front arrives with rain and gusty winds on Friday morning.

Throughout the day, the rain will move southeastward, shifting into Wales and northern England during the afternoon on Friday.

Wind gusts of 30-40 mph (38-64 km/h) will make high temperatures between 10 and 12 C (50 and 54 F) feel chillier.

Farther south, bargain hunters will have a wider window of opportunity to hit the shops before the rainy spell begins.

Rainfall will reach the Greater London area and southern England late in the day with winds between 20-30 mph (32-48 km/h) during the evening.

Though Black Friday is relatively new to the U.K., an estimated 1.19 billion pounds are expected to be spent face-to-face during the holiday, with sales peaking between 13:00 and 14:00, according to a report by Visa Europe.

Sales, overall, are forecast to increase by 20 percent from 2013, mostly due to online shopping.

"This is shaping up to be a huge weekend, online and in-store, for retailers," Kevin Jenkins, managing director for U.K. and Ireland at Visa Europe said.

For those that can't be bothered to venture out into the stormy weather, various merchants will be hosting several-days long events in store and online in advance of Christmas.

eBay is predicting that more than 9 million Brits will visit their U.K. website in 24 hours on 27th November, with 25 items selling every second. Regardless, the company plans to launch eight days of deals through 23rd November.

Amazon will follow suit with its week of "lightning" deals running through 29th November.

Meanwhile, Asda - responsible for first introducing the event to the U.K. in 2013 - has confirmed it will "step back" from hosting a one-off Black Friday sale at all this year. Instead, the supermarket will offer 26 million pounds in discounts between November and December.