Storm Ciara: Most “intense” storm since 2013.
The UK is set to be hit by the most intense storm in seven years, with winds up to 80mph as the Met Office issues a "danger to life" warning this weekend.
Heavy rain and widespread games will bring disruption across the UK this weekend.
The Met Office has issued several National Severe Weather Warnings for strong winds and heavy rain brought by Storm Ciara throughout the weekend, including an Amber warning for southeast England on Sunday. A yellow wind warning has been issued for north-western parts of the UK on Saturday, followed by a yellow wind warning covering the whole UK on Sunday. Named by the Met Office on Wednesday, Storm Ciara is currently tracking eastwards towards the UK and Ireland.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Frank Saunders, said: “Storm Ciara will bring damaging winds and heavy rain across the UK this weekend and we have issued a range of severe weather warnings giving people time to prepare for potential impacts of the storm.
“Winds will increase through Saturday across Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern England and Wales, before turning very windy across the rest of UK through the early hours of Sunday morning. Gusts of 50 to 60 mph are expected quite widely across inland areas, with even stronger gusts of 80mph or higher along coastal areas, especially in southeast England and northern Scotland.”
Storm Ciara is expected to bring a range of impacts including delays and cancellations to air, ferry and train services, damage to buildings such as tiles blown from roofs and there is a good chance power cuts may occur, as well as large coastal waves and difficult driving conditions in heavy rain.
Guy Addington, Regional Water Safety Lead at the RNLI said: “This rough weather could making 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.”
Looking further ahead, Chief Meteorologist Frank Saunders said: “In the wake of Storm Ciara, it’ll remain unsettled and very windy across the UK and it’ll turn colder with wintry showers and ice an additional hazard, as we head into the new week.”