The UK is set to be battered for a second day by Storm Barra bringing strong winds, rain and ice for much of the country and leading to widespread flood warnings
Image: Tim Merry)
Brits are being warned to prepare for strong winds, rain and ice leading to flooding as the country is battered for a second day by Storm Barra.
Gales and snow blizzards caused chaos on Tuesday with wind gusts reaching 86mph at Aberdaron, in Gwynedd, while around 3,200 homes in north-east Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales lost power.
Now dozens of flood warnings have been issued across the UK along with the Met Office also issuing a yellow weather warning of gales in England for Wednesday.
The Environment Agency has issued 11 flood warnings for England at locations including Hartlepool and Sunderland in the North East, Bournemouth and Weymouth in the South, and part of the Cumbrian coast.
Some 66 flood alerts, for areas where flooding is possible, have also been issued across the country.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has sent 11 flood alerts and five warnings for areas in the north-east of Scotland and the south-west.
Natural Resources Wales has also issued 12 flood warnings and 11 alerts, mainly covering coastal areas.
“Properties may flood and there may be travel disruption,” said the Environment Agency.
“Local river and surface water flooding is also possible for parts of England and Wales on Tuesday and Wednesday. Land and roads may flood and there may be travel disruption.”
More chaos comes as communities in the North East and Scotland are still trying to recover from the catastrophic effects of Storm Arwen.
Thousands of homes lost power for up to 10 days in the wake of 100mph winds and lashing rain at the end of November.
Northern Powergrid has not confirmed whether all homes were connected by Tuesday night as promised.
Storm Barra moved in from the west on Tuesday, and a yellow weather warning for wind is in place from midnight until 6pm on Wednesday for the west coast of Wales and south-west England.
As well as the high winds that hit Gwynedd, North Wales, which is covered by the wind warning, Orlock Head in Co Down, Northern Ireland Ireland, faced 76mph gusts on Tuesday.
Met Office forecasters said Storm Barra may not cause as much chaos as Storm Arwen – though it has already sparked travel delays and school closures in Scotland.
Spokeswoman Nicky Maxey said: “We are not expecting the impacts of Barra to be as bad as we saw with Arwen.
“Storm Barra will bring strong winds and heavy rainfall to many parts of the UK today. We may see some snow on the higher ground, too.
“It is unlikely to be as impactful as Storm Arwen last week but there will be blustery conditions so people should still be prepared.”
ScotRail has warned that some Wednesday services will be cancelled due to the storm.
The strong winds is expected to mean the temperatures are milder than usual for the time of year on Wednesday, with London predicted to see 7C, 8C in Cardiff, 4C for Edinburgh and 6C in Belfast.
Boris Johnson said on Monday more than 1,000 homes were still without power but that he was assured by Northern Powergrid boss Phil Jones that “affected properties would be reconnected” on Tuesday at the latest.
The Prime Minister said “too many people have spent too long without power” and the situation in northern England was not acceptable.
Schools in Dumfries and Galloway were forced to close because of the weather. Stranraer Academy was shut after the wind caused structural damage to the roof, the council said, and Drummore School closed after trees were blown down.
UK forecast for the next 5 days
A generally windy day, with early gales in the west and southwest, perhaps severe in coastal Wales. Showers affecting most areas, some heavy and with some more persistent bands of showery rain especially across Wales. A little brightness or sunshine.
Showery rain and showers easing for many, clearer spells allowing patchy frost, mostly in the north. However parts of northwest England and the northwest Midlands likely to keep some showers.
Showers continuing to ease away northeastwards, many parts fine for a time. Rain returning to western parts by afternoon and central areas later. Mostly fairly chilly, milder in southwest later.
Outlook for Friday to Sunday:
Drier weather at times, with unsettled interludes. Blustery showers Friday and Sunday, mainly for the north and west, with longer spells of rain for most through Saturday. Turning milder.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.