Forecasters have issued multiple weather warnings, including a rare red alert for wind, as Storm Arwen is set to batter parts of the UK with gusts expected in excess of 80mph.
This is everything you need to know.
What has the Met Office said?
Expert Meteorologist at the Met Office Daniel Rudman said: “Storm Arwen is associated with a deep low pressure system that will impact the northeast most significantly from Friday, but will also bring wider impacts to the UK with high winds, rain and snow probable, especially over higher ground.
“The most significant impacts from Storm Arwen will be the high winds that much of the UK will see on Friday and in to Saturday, with gusts possible in excess of 80mph in exposed coastal areas, especially in the northeast.
“Coupled with the high winds, Storm Arwen is bringing the potential for rain, sleet and snow. The snow will likely be seen the most in the high ground in the north, but there’s a chance of some lower level impacts towards some southern areas, which is reflected with the yellow warnings for snow we have issued.”
RNLI Water Safety Manager, Ross Macleod said: “This rough weather could make visiting our coasts around the UK and Ireland treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.
“Sadly, around 150 people accidentally lose their lives around UK and Irish waters each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.
“If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.”
Sunday is generally expected to bring a drier day for many, except for some lingering showers over the eastern coasts of England and Scotland.
However, some wet weather is due to move into the far west later on in the day, potentially preceded by some sleet and hill snow over Northern Ireland.
What weather warnings are in place?
The Met Office has issued a number of weather warnings as Storm Arwen is set to batter the UK over Friday (26 Nov) and Saturday (27 Nov).
On Friday, there is:
- A red wind warning for coastal areas in the northeast
- A yellow wind warning which covers Scotland, Northern Ireland and the west of England and Wales
- An amber wind warning for northeast Scotland and England
- Two yellow snow warnings for parts of Scotland and England
On Saturday, there is:
- Two yellow weather warnings for snow in Scotland and northern England
- A yellow weather warning for snow and ice in northern Scotland
- A yellow wind warning which covers almost the entirety of the UK, apart from the southeast of England
- Two amber wind warning for northeast Scotland and the west of England and Wales
- A red wind warning for coastal areas in the northeast
The Met Office says that the red wind warning will run from 3pm on Friday to 2am on Saturday. The northerly wind is expected to cause damage to coastal areas, with “exceptionally large waves possible in the northeast”.
Temperatures over the weekend are also set to drop, with a UK Health Security Agency Level 2 cold weather alert issued in England.
The alert states: “There is a 60% probability of severe cold weather between 1800 on Friday 26 Nov and 1500 on Monday 29 Nov in parts of England. This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.”
What to expect from the weather warnings
Regarding the red wind warnings, the Met Office says that high winds “will bring damage and travel disruption”.
The Met Office says to expect:
- Flying debris resulting in danger to life
- Damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down
- Roads, bridges and railway lines closed, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights
- Power cuts affecting other services, such as mobile phone coverage
- Large waves and beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and homes
For the snow warning, the Met Office says that “spells of hill and mountain snow combined with high winds will give blizzard conditions and cause travel disruption”.
It says to expect:
- A small chance of travel delays on roads with some stranded vehicles and passengers, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel
- A slight chance that some rural communities could become cut off
- A small chance that power cuts will occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected
RAC Breakdown spokesperson Simon Williams said: “The settled weather being experienced by much of the country will end abruptly with the arrival of Storm Arwen, and will lead to some really challenging driving conditions.
“High winds can seriously affect vehicle handling, so drivers need to make sure that strong gusts don’t take them by surprise.
“It’s important to adjust your driving in windy conditions by slowing down, being very careful when passing high-sided vehicles on exposed stretches of motorway as you can be buffeted off course, and keeping a firm grip on the steering wheel.
“Drivers should also remember to give extra space to cyclists and motorcyclists when overtaking. In extreme windy conditions, bridges may also be closed and trees may fall so it’s important to allow extra time for journeys.
“With forecasters predicting strong winds together with colder conditions, drivers should take this opportunity to prepare their vehicles for winter by checking oil and coolant levels."
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