Travel Disruption: Storm Hits Britain

Storm Warning
Storm Warning // photo by cyberbofh via Flickr

Sarah Knapton, The Daily Telegraph, December 9, 2015 

Coastal areas of Britain could experience power cuts, falling trees and travel disruption as an Atlantic storm hits Britain.

Britain’s coastline will be battered with ‘exceptionally large’ waves tomorrow with conditions so bad at sea that the RNLI has already dubbed it ‘Black Wednesday.’

A storm front moving in from the Atlantic will bring 70mph gusts and 60ft waves to the shores the North of England and Scotland with coastal homes at risk from flooding.

The Met Office issued red shipping warnings for gales for all sea areas around Britain with wave height reaching the ‘phenomenal’ rating at Stornaway, in the Outer Hebrides, the highest it can be.

Waves could reach the height of six-story buildings, forecasters said. They also warned of power cuts, falling trees and travel disruption.

“Exceptionally large waves will affect west coasts. The public should be prepared for dangerous conditions, especially along coastal roads, and be aware of the potential for disruption to travel and perhaps power supplies,” said a Met Office spokesman.

The Environment Agency has issued warnings that coastal properties could be flooded in the North West and Scotland.

A spokesman for the RNLI said: “Wednesday is already being referred to as ‘Black Wednesday’ due to the Atlantic storm.”

Stornoway Coastguard also added: “It doesn’t go higher than ‘phenomenal’ - don't get caught out.”

Gusts hit 99mph at Aonach Mor and 89mph at Bealach Na Ba in the Highlands of Scotland on Tuesday morning.

Winds are expected to peak on Wednesday afternoon with an amber weather warning in place.

Thousands of engineers were put on standby to repair expected power cuts, the Energy Networks Association, which represents power distributors, said.

“Falling trees and airborne debris can damage infrastructure. Networks are watching the weather closely and have engineers ready,” said: spokesman Tim Field.

The RAC predicted breakdowns to increase by almost a quarter and told motorists to cancel journeys if conditions were severe.

Spokesman Simon Williams said: “Motorists should be prepared to change their plans at short notice if things get bad. We anticipate a rise in breakdown-related call-outs.”

Network Rail will consider speed restrictions if needed.

Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “A wide range of agencies and organisations are working together to implement response plans, aiming to keep disruption in difficult conditions to a minimum.”

As well as high winds, snow could also bring blizzards to the North of England and Scotland with 20cm of snow possible in the Highlands and around 5cm elsewhere.

Central and southern England will stay dry and mostly sunny in a cold and gusty westerly wind.

Forecaster Leon Brown, of The Weather Channel said: “On Thursday the wintry showers gradually ease over the north west, but still further snow over hills and very icy across northern Britain in the morning so drivers beware!

“The next low pressure system will run in a more southerly track on Thursday evening and night with gales and rain across southern Britain and snow to Northern Ireland and south to central Scotland.

“Colder weather will move quickly southwards on Friday again with snow showers over North Scotland and North England. A few also reaching the North Midlands but no accumulations expected at lower levels but could be as much as 5cm over the higher parts of Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire.”

The first severe frost of the winter will hit on Friday night with temperatures plunging to 13F (-10C) in Scotland and 17F (-8C) in higher parts of Northumberland.

Temperatures will also plummet in southern England in the early hours of Saturday morning with the mercury falling to 24F (-4C)

Saturday will then be a cold but mostly sunny day over the east and south and wintry showers in the north west.

It will feel windy but less cold for most of the country by Sunday, but rain will spread across the north and west. It will stay dry and bright in the south east.

Windy and unsettled weather will continue next week with further snow at times over higher ground in the north.


This article was written by Sarah Knapton Science Editor from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.