Icelandic storm to ravage UK in hours with power-cuts and 80mph winds

UK Weather: Met Office forecast spells of rain

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Violent winds of up to 80mph are set to batter large swathes of the UK today, with Scotland copping the brunt over a 16-hour period. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind covering four large regions, with experts foreseeing power cuts and disruption to mobile phone networks. Energy firm SSEN has also reportedly warned vulnerable customers about the chances of outages as the storm from Iceland begins to rage over the northern mainland. The Scottish Highlands will see more snow showers which are not set to extend to lower-level areas.

The Met Office said: “A deep area of low pressure is expected to pass to the north of Scotland later on Tuesday, clearing away to the east during Wednesday. Gusts of 60mph are likely fairly widely, and perhaps 70 to 80mph for a time across northern coasts of mainland Scotland, Lewis and Orkney.

“Warning area has been reduced in size and the impact level decreased as a less developed area of low pressure is now expected to move across northern Scotland, with a smaller area of impactful winds. The end time has been extended to the end of Wednesday morning as strong winds may linger across northeast Scotland during the morning.”

The warning activates at 8pm today and will remain in place until noon tomorrow. While it does not cover Northern Ireland, strong winds are expected to hit parts of the nation throughout this evening.

In terms of what to expect, the forecaster said the impacts will cause delays to the roads, rail transport network and ferries – with some disruption to air travel likely.

There will also be some delays to high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges, and some “short-term loss of power is possible”. There is a posed danger to anyone walking along coastal routes as large waves may come crashing over. This also extends to coastal roads. 

Jo Farrow from Netweather offered an explanation of how the storm, which pushes southerly from Iceland, will begin to develop across the UK. In her blog, she says: “A winter storm will affect Iceland during Monday night as a deep area of low-pressure moves by.

“There are warnings for severe gales and heavy snow from the Icelandic Met Office. The fronts from this low move across the UK on Monday night. There will be rain in north western Britain and northern parts of Northern Ireland.

“This is the theme of things this week with rain for this region and particularly western and north western Scotland. Other parts of the UK are mostly dry.”

Describing the impacts of today’s weather, Ms Farrow added: “Tuesday itself looks windy in the unstable westerly flow behind the cold front. There will be high lee gusts for eastern Scotland and north east England, with tricky conditions along the A1 and A9.

“Also, westerly gales for the far north of Scotland and a very windy Tuesday lunchtime for the Northern Isles.

“There will be a nippy, fresh westerly wind for northern and eastern England, around the Irish Sea, for coastal Northern Ireland and across Scotland.

“The winds will be strong for exposed coasts and hills with snow showers over the Scottish mountains.”

The Met Office’s top tips for travelling in stormy weather consist of slowing down during periods of intense rain, avoid starting journeys until the worst of the weather is over, and choosing more main roads over country routes.

This is because there is less likely to be fallen debris. Dipped headlights must be used if visibility is seriously reduced, and using both hands to grip the steering wheel will help regain control of a vehicle when strong gusts are battering exposed routes.

“This is particularly important when planning to overtake,” the Met Office added. “Keep an eye out for gaps between trees, buildings or bridges over a river or railway – these are some of the places you are more likely to be exposed to side.”

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