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Windy weekend in store as Storm Desmond brings gales to the UK

Storm Desmond, the fourth named storm of the season, brings the potential for damaging gusts across northern Britain at times this weekend.

The current unsettled spell of weather continues with Storm Desmond, the fourth named storm of the season, bringing the potential for damaging gusts across northern Britain at times.

The storm itself is a low pressure system passing well to the northwest of the UK, close to Iceland but will bring a windy weekend to the whole of the UK.

Forecast position of Storm Desmond at midday Friday 4 December

We expect two periods of severe gales with the potential for damaging gusts to northern areas - the first spell across Scotland and northern England on Friday afternoon and into the night, followed by another on Saturday afternoon and evening, especially across south-east Scotland and north-east England.

The frontal systems associated with Storm Desmond will also bring persistent rain to some parts of northern Britain - the heaviest rain is expected on west facing hills and mountains from north Wales northwards.  

Frank Saunders, Chief Operational Meteorologist, said: "Although Storm Desmond itself is a long way from the UK, it will bring us all a windy weekend.

"The gales will be strong enough across many northern areas, to bring down some trees, and perhaps cause damage to buildings. Anyone travelling should be aware that there could be some travel disruption on roads and ferry routes. We have issued Severe weather warnings for the potential impacts of all this weekend's weather and everyone should keep up to date with these and plan accordingly."

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: "We are aware that strong winds and heavy rain forecast for the coming days could make conditions on our transport networks more difficult than usual.

"People wishing to travel should consider the conditions, listen to radio reports, visit the Traffic Scotland website or twitter feed and take note of the latest police advice before starting their journeys. There may be some difficult driving conditions and motorists should take extra care.

"People in the Lothian and Fife area should take special care when planning their journeys due to extra pressures being placed on the network by the closure of the Forth Road Bridge and consider whether journeys are necessary."

Phil Stockford, Emergency Planning Manager at Highways England, said: "We're advising drivers to plan their journeys before they set out, checking the forecast and road conditions, as well as to leave extra time for their journeys and to delay their journey if the weather becomes severe.

"There's a particular risk to lorries and other vulnerable vehicles, such as caravans and motorbikes, so we're asking drivers to slow down and to avoid using exposed sections of motorways and other routes if possible."

Jonathan Day, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager, said: "River levels across northern England are already high and are expected to rise with this further heavy rainfall, bringing with them a significant risk of flooding that could cause major disruption to roads and travel. We are working closely with the emergency services and partners to prepare ahead of the weekend. Our teams are already in action clearing watercourses, maintaining existing defences and deploying temporary defences where these can be effective.

"We urge people not drive through flood water: just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car. People should check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation at or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates."‎

The current stormy spell is consistent with our three month outlook and is not unusual for this time of year, indeed this is when climatologically we would expect to have most of our storms.

You can keep up to date with the latest forecast using our five day forecast pages.

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