The UK's skies will be lit up this weekend as the dazzling Leonid meteor shower peaks.

One of the more prolific annual meteor showers, the Lenoids are known to be fast and bright meteors - promising an impressive display for stargazers.

Associated with Comet Tempel-Tuttle, they appear to stream from the head of the constellation Leo the Lion, hence the name.

A tiny path of debris is left by the comet as it follows its path around the Sun.

The debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per second, before vaporising and causing the streaks of light we call meteors.

When is the best time to watch the Leonids?

The best time to see the Leonids above the UK this year will be between midnight and before dawn in the early hours of Saturday.

The shower will be most visible in central, southern and eastern parts of the UK, according to the Met Office, so long as there are breaks between showers.

You won't need any specialist equipment to see the display which will be visible to the naked eye.

However, stargazers might need a little patience and the darkest possible conditions – away from streetlights and other sources of light – to maximise their chances of spotting the spectacle.

The meteors are reported to be visible in all parts of the sky, so a wide open space where the night sky can be scanned will also help you.

If you miss the shower's peak on Friday into Saturday - don't fret!

Stargazers will still have a chance to glimpse the display since it continues for several days afterwards.

St Helens Star: Best time to watch the Leonids is November 18 before dawn. ( PA Graphics)Best time to watch the Leonids is November 18 before dawn. ( PA Graphics) (Image: PA Graphics)

Met Office's UK forecast 

The Met Office predicts that the UK will see dry with clear spells in the east on Friday evening.

The weather forecast notes that we could perhaps get some early frost and fog in places.

Cloud and rain are also forecast to push steadily eastwards with winds strengthening.

It should be mild, particularly in the south.

Going into Saturday, cloud and rain spreading north and east is expected throughout the day.

Some heavy bursts are also predicted in places.

However, there will be sunny spells and showers following from the west.

The Met Office also says that it will be windy, particularly near coasts.

See your latest Met Office forecast, via the Met Office website.

What does BBC weather say?

Meanwhile, BBC weather forecasts that Friday evening will see dry conditions with clear spells in the north and east to start.

The forecaster adds that it will then become cloudy, wet and windy as showery rain steadily spreads in from the southwest overnight.

It predicts a mild night for most, with winds strengthening.

On Saturday, spells of rain are forecast to spread in from the west.

BBC Weather predicts that rain will clear to leave most with patchy clouds and bright spells in the afternoon, with showers in the north and west.

The weather forecast says that Saturday will be milder, but windy.

You can see your latest forecast via the BBC weather website.