Warnings extended for risk of significant storm
Oct 25, 2013 11:56 AM
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 later on Sunday, before moving across the country.
This could bring gusts of 60-80mph quite widely across the southern half of the UK, with gusts of more than 80mph possible in places - especially on exposed coasts.
Winds of this strength could bring down trees or cause structural damage, potentially causing transport disruption or power cuts.
This isn't a storm you would see every year, and if the storm arrives in line with current expectations wind strengths will be similar to storms seen in March 2008, January 2007 and October 2000.
Steve Willington, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: "We are talking about a storm which doesn't yet exist, so there remains some uncertainty about its possible timing, track and strength. However, several forecasts models currently suggest we will see a significant storm with exceptionally strong winds impacting parts of England and Wales.
"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 staff teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts and will continue to closely monitor the situation. We are supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding.
"Seafronts, quaysides and jetties should be avoided due to the risk of overtopping by waves. 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 their 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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