Gales, rain and snow forecast as temperatures plunge

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Weekend temperatures are expected to tumble as unsettled weather looks poised to divide the country.

The heavy downpours which blighted parts of the south of England on Friday will now head north, prompting the Met Office to issue a yellow warning for rain in Northern Ireland.

Forecaster Mark Wilson said the gales which lashed coastal areas will "gradually ease overnight" but warned the precipitation was on the move.

In place until 2am on Saturday, the Met Office warning states that "localised flooding is possible" in Northern Ireland, with as much as 1.2ins (30mm) of rain expected to fall in a six to nine-hour period.

Mr Wilson said there is also a risk of a few centimetres of snow falling on ground above 200 metres as the front makes its way north towards Scotland.

A yellow warning for ice has also been issued for the south west of England and Wales, "with patches of ice expected to form in some places overnight" - leading to potentially difficult driving conditions on Saturday morning.

Describing the weekend's weather Mr Wilson said it will be a "north-south split".

"The north of the UK will be blustery with some further heavy rain and some hill snow," he added.

"In the south of the UK, apart from a few showers, it will be a much drier day to come with lighter winds and some sunny spells."

He said that as Saturday and Sunday progress "temperatures are going to start to fall".

"In the last couple of days they have been quite mild, but by Sunday daytime, highs will range between 5C (41F) and 8C (46.4F) ... it will be noticeably colder," Mr Wilson said.

Before the wet and windy weather moved across the country, he said winds of up to 71mph were recorded on the Isle of Wight on Friday, with 63mph clocked on the Isle of Portland.

In the 12 hours between 8am and 8pm Mr Wilson also said more than an inch of rain fell in parts - with 29.6mm recorded in Scolton, south west Wales.