Ex-Hurricane Ophelia will bring stormy conditions to western parts of the UK.
Across the UK people will see a varied range of weather over the next few days. Whilst much warmer than average temperatures are likely over the weekend, extremely windy conditions will affect Northern Ireland, and western and northern Britain on Monday and Tuesday.
The most dominant weather feature will be the arrival of Ex-Ophelia along the western seaboard of Ireland on Monday. Although this ex-hurricane will bring impactful weather to many northern and western parts of the UK, the forecast for other areas – such as South East England – is good with warm and mainly dry conditions likely to dominate.
Met Office chief forecaster Steve Ramsdale said: “By the time Ophelia reaches our latitudes, she will be weakening and will be an ex-hurricane. However, Ex-Ophelia will be bringing some significant impacts to Northern Ireland and western and northern Britain on Monday and Tuesday. On the basis of the latest information we have issued an Amber wind warning for Northern Ireland for the most intense period of winds between 3pm and 10pm on Monday. During this period we can expect wind gusts in excess of 60 mph with a chance of 80 mph gusts for the southeast of Northern Ireland
“Yellow wind warnings, which were first issued on Thursday, cover Northern Ireland and western and northern Britain from 12noon on Monday until midnight. While on Tuesday a separate Yellow wind warning has been issued from a period extending until 3pm on Tuesday for Northern Ireland, northern England and the southern half of Scotland.”
The rest of the UK will see breezy conditions during this time, but wind gusts are not expected to bring widespread disruption.
Temperatures across large parts of southern and eastern England will become increasingly warm over the weekend and are expected to exceed 20 °C on Monday, with isolated spots possibly reaching 24 °C. The average maximum temperature for England in October is around 14 °C. The high temperatures are, in part, due to the influence of ex-Ophelia which will draw up very warm air from Spain on its eastern flank.
Hurricane Ophelia, which developed southwest of the Azores, had reached Category 3 status. When it turns north-east across the North Atlantic, Ophelia will lose energy as she passes over cooler waters. Before reaching the British Isles the system will lose its tropical characteristics and will no longer be classified as a hurricane. However, it will still have sufficient energy to produce impacts, such as very strong winds and heavy seas, leading to dangerous conditions in exposed locations.
Matt Crofts is a Lifesaving Manager with the RNLI. He said: “The severe weather which is due to hit parts of the UK and Ireland early next week could make our seas particularly dangerous and unpredictable, with large waves and swells being a major risk.
“Stormy conditions may be tempting to watch but big waves can easily knock you off your feet. The sea is far more powerful than you think and your chances of survival are slim if you are dragged into the swell. Our volunteer lifeboat crews will always launch to rescue those in danger at sea, but to launch into conditions like these could also put their lives at risk.
“We understand why people want to experience extreme weather, but it’s not worth risking your life, so we strongly urge people to respect the water and watch from a safe distance. If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Don’t enter the water yourself as you could also end up in serious danger.”
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