Oct 26, 2013 12:02 PM
The Met Office is warning of the risk of a significant storm bringing exceptionally strong winds to parts of England and Wales on Sunday night into Monday morning.
Currently forecasts suggest a low pressure system will rapidly deepen just to the south west of the UK on later on Sunday, before moving across the country to be out over the North Sea by the afternoon on Monday.
This is expected to bring gusts of 60 - 80 mph widely across the southern half of the UK, with gusts of more than 80 mph possible in places - especially on exposed coasts.
Any major storm which occurs in early autumn has the potential to cause widespread severe disruption through falling trees, structural damage, transport disruption or power cuts and possibly flooding.
Frank Saunders, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: "We are confident that a severe storm will affect Britain on Sunday night and Monday. We are now looking at refining the details about which areas will see the strongest winds and the heaviest rain.
"This is a developing situation and we'd advise people to stay up to date with our forecasts and warnings over the weekend, and be prepared to change their plans if necessary. We'll continue to work closely with authorities and emergency services to ensure they are aware of the expected conditions."
The storm is also expected to feature heavy rain for some parts of the country, which also has the potential to cause some localised impacts.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: "Environment Agency teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts. We will continue to closely monitor the situation ready to issue flood warnings if needed. We are supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding."
"Seafronts, quaysides, jetties should be avoided due to the risk of overtopping by waves and wind blown shingle. People are advised to sign up to receive free flood warnings from the Environment Agency website, check weather reports on the Met Office website and be prepared to change travel plans."
Martin Hobbs the head of Asset Resilience at the Highways Agency: "We are working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions ahead of the weather being forecast over the weekend. Drivers, especially those considering a trip with a caravan this weekend, are encouraged to think carefully before setting off as driving conditions are expected to be difficult on Sunday evening and Monday. If you do have to make a journey by road, be prepared, plan your journey in advance and check the latest weather conditions along your route.
"Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close certain bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signposted diversion routes."
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