HOPES of a white Christmas have been dashed with forecasters instead predicting strong winds to hit Burton and South Derbyshire.
Wind gusts of up to 40mph are expected to continue to batter the region today although yesterday’s heavy rainfall is thought to be on the wane.
Last week, the Mail reported that bookies Ladbrokes, which has branches in Burton and Swadlincote, had given odds of 7/1 on snowfall in Staffordshire on Christmas Day.
But a spokesman from the Met Office delivered a reality check to anyone holding out hope of waking up to a blanket of snow tomorrow morning.
The spokesman said: “There’s a chance of wintry weather on higher ground like the Pennines but it’s fairly unlikely.
“There might be some wintry stuff like hail or sleet but no snow.”
The possibility of strong gusts led to warnings being made to those on the Christmas commute to be extra vigilant on the county’s roads, which are at their busiest this time of year.
Simon Tagg, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “With strong winds forecast early today and then again on Friday it makes sense to make sure your car is fit to travel, you have the essentials on board and to check the latest weather news before you set off.”
Burton and South Derbyshire had been battered with 50mph gales and downpours yesterday due to a low-pressure system surrounding north and west of the UK.
The Met Office had issued a yellow warning for rain in Staffordshire warning residents of the possibility of heavy rain.
But the Met Office spokesman said these should have dispersed by this afternoon to make way for some clear skies.
He said: “Burton and South Derbyshire is away to the west of the low pressure.
“It will start fairly windy through tomorrow as well when there could be 30mph to 40mph gusts but it won’t be as windy as elsewhere.
“In terms of rain, it should have passed and there will be bright spells during the day but a good deal of wind and there’s a chance of rain in the early parts.
“Christmas Day will be fairly similar. It will be dry, bright and breezy but it won’t be so bad.”