The Met Office has said conditions will be cloudy and wet on Christmas Day for much of the UK, dampening hopes of a white Christmas.
The national forecaster is predicting mild conditions for most and said the Scottish Highlands is the only part of the UK likely to see snow over the festive season.
The prediction is a stark contrast to the recent cold snap that has gripped the country over the past week, with heavy snowfall coming two weeks early to give most people a white Christmas.
The Met Office said that warm air from the South West will instead push temperatures as high as 13C in southern England on Friday (23 December), and with it a band of rain will sweep through England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
At the same time, temperatures will hover above freezing in northern Scotland and lower levels there may see some snow on Christmas night as cool winds push in from the north-west and blow across the whole UK. After this band of rain, conditions will be drier in the South and East of England with blustering winds across the North West, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said: “It’s going to be a cloudy and wet Christmas weekend for some of the UK and any wintry showers are most likely to be confined to the far northwest of Scotland.
“A white Christmas, which according to the Met Office is defined by a single snowflake falling anywhere in the UK on Christmas Day, is most likely in the northwest of Scotland later on the day on Sunday, with some snow moving in from the north-west as part of a cooler pool of air and some snow could even be seen in the northwest of the UK at lower levels overnight on Christmas Day and into Boxing Day.
“What we’re looking at for Christmas Eve is staying mainly dry for southern and eastern parts but areas to the northwest will see some showers and some longer spells of rain for a time, including some heavy rain as well for a short time and some snow falling over the high ground of Scotland.
“Some breezy conditions as well on Christmas Eve, some gusty winds especially in the north and west of the UK. That scene continues into Christmas Day with unsettled weather in charge of the UK regime at the moment.”
As for weather over the Christmas weekend in general, the Met Office says the country will face typical weather for this time of year, with “a mild, more unsettled pattern in charge”.
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist David Oliver added: “An unsettled Christmas weekend is on the way for many, with those in the north and west seeing the most frequent and the heaviest showers. High winds will affect some coasts through the weekend with gales in places, especially the north and west.
“Christmas Day will be unsettled for many, with the most frequent showers in the northern half of the UK and some more sporadic and mostly lighter showers further south. There is some uncertainty about the timing of colder air from the northwest, but it looks like this will introduce some snow showers to the northwest of Scotland late on Christmas Day.”