Where is Storm Franklin now? UK live tracker, weather warnings - and where will it hit in north west England?

Storm Franklin is battering the UK just days after Storm Eunice destroyed buildings and left 1.4 million homes without power.

Meteorologist Becky Mitchell said three named storms in such quick succession is a first since the system was introduced seven years ago.

She told the PA news agency: “This is the first time we have had three named storms within a week, and we started the storm naming system in 2015.

“At the moment we’ve got a really active jet stream, which is why we’re seeing so many storms track right towards the UK. We had Dudley on Wednesday, Eunice on Friday and Franklin today.”

But what’s the best way of keeping abreast of the latest weather developments?

Here is everything you need to know about following Storm Franklin.

When are the weather warnings in place for?

As is the nature of weather, Storm Franklin will not be affecting everywhere equally at the same time.

It will travel across the country, and as such, the Met Office’s weather warnings reflect this.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for wind which could cause a “risk to life” in Northern Ireland until 7am, while a milder yellow wind warning covers England, Wales and south-western Scotland from midday until 1pm.

Environment agencies have issued hundreds of alerts for flooding across the UK, including two rare “severe” warnings where rainfall could also pose a “danger to life” for communities along the River Mersey in Greater Manchester.

This comes after huge waves were seen crashing onto coastal areas, homes were destroyed by strong winds, and emergency services deployed flood defences along swelling riverbanks on Sunday.

The River Don burst its banks in the Sprotbrough area of Doncaster in South Yorkshire on Sunday night, and police have warned people to stay away from dangerous “fast flowing” water.

(Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)(Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Mitchell said there will “definitely be some impact” from Storm Franklin but it is not expected to be “as severe” as Eunice because the strongest winds will be confined to the coast.

Gusts of 60-70mph are predicted to hit inland Northern Ireland in the early hours of Monday morning, while 80mph speeds are expected on the coast.

Strong winds are also expected in England and Wales on Sunday afternoon, with 60mph gales predicted inland and 70mph in coastal areas.

Mitchell warned of “treacherous conditions” and up to 80mm rainfall for north-west England, which is covered by a double warning for wind and rain from midday until 3pm on Sunday.

She said: “There will be really intense rainfall in the North West – torrential downpours for a short time.

How can I track the storm?

The exact location of Storm Franklin is hard to pin down. It’s a large weather system, one that essentially covers the entirety of the UK at once.

Obviously, the best way to ascertain whether Franklin is affecting your local area or not is to simply look out of the window.

But if you want a more detailed picture, there are plenty of websites that allow you to view satellite imagery, which can help even amateur meteorologists pinpoint which areas may be being worst affected at a given time.

The Met Office’s own rainfall radar map is perhaps the most reliable of these, giving a first-glance indication of where precipitation is at its heaviest.

Meteoradar.co.uk is perhaps a more detailed overview of cloud cover in the UK, though its black-and-white presentation is a little less eye-catching than others.

It does offer an animated view of the last hour or so of weather activity, which more clearly shows the path a weather system is taking.

Though Franklin is unlikely to bring electrical storms, if you want to keep track of lightning strikes in your area, the popular lightningmaps.org is a great port of call (it’s fascinating to watch lightning storms rage around the world at any time, really).

But it’s the wind speeds brought by Franklin that will be of main concern. Thankfully, there are a number of online tools you can use to keep track of this, too.

Windfinder was designed for surfers to find which coastlines are currently offering the best waves.

But it offers a real-time wind and weather map which, especially in times of notable weather events, provides an easy to digest visualisation of where gusts are strongest.

You can also see the Top 20 gusts in the country at netweather.tv; at the time of writing, Aberdaron in north-west Wales was Top of the Windy Pops, clocking a maximum wind speed of 72mph!

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