UK

Met Office makes rare move issuing amber wind alert for almost whole of UK

A ‘very widespread’ storm is forecast to hit Britain with strong winds and heavy rain later as multiple amber warnings come into force, the Met Office has said.

Storm Isha – the ninth storm since September – is expected to bring winds of up to 80mph, potentially causing power cuts and increased congestion as roads and bridges are likely to be shut, while rail and bus services could face delays and cancellations.

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The Met Office issued amber weather warnings for wind for northern and western England, Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland from Sunday evening into Monday.

Another one will come in across parts of Sussex and Kent from Monday morning.

Forecasters also warned of large waves and flying debris being blown inland in coastal areas, posing a potential risk to life and damage to buildings.

Yellow warnings for rain and wind are in place for the rest of the country over the next two days, and eight flood warnings are already in place across England.

The heaviest rain is expected today, with 30mm to 50mm in many places and 80mm to 100mm in hillier areas.

Met Office forecaster Ellie Glaisyer said: “The main thing about this storm is it is very widespread across the whole of the UK.

“Quite often we see storms affecting the northwest or the southern half of the UK, whereas this one, later on Sunday and into Monday, the whole of the UK is covered by a warning, which is relatively rare.

“In that nature it’s a very widespread storm and it’s going to be affecting everybody. Heavy rain will affect everybody, those strong winds will affect everybody.

“That’s the main difference to previous storms we have seen.”

East Midlands Railway said it expected “significant disruption” on Sunday and Monday, while Police Scotland advised people to avoid unnecessary travel.

Ms Glaisyer said: “Anybody driving on Sunday evening and through Monday should be wary of water on the roads, lots of spray, perhaps some branches and trees may have fallen over causing roads to be blocked.

“There’s some large waves as well that could cause disruption to ferry services and the strong winds could cause some delays to trains and plane travel.”

Warmer weather will accompany the adverse conditions after a week of snow and sub-zero temperatures, with highs of 13C possible today.

However, Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said the strong winds, rain and clouds could overshadow the milder weather so it might not “feel quite so warm”.

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Mr Burkill added: “Temperatures will be on the mild side, lifting as we go through this weekend and staying mild through much of next week.

“There may be some chillier spells but I think that any frost is likely to be isolated if we see any at all.”

From Tuesday afternoon until midday on Wednesday, a yellow wind warning will be in place covering Northern Ireland, north Wales, northern England and much of Scotland.

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