Parts of the UK will be battered by gale-force winds and heavy rain with a severe yellow weather warning in place – destroying the half-term plans of many.
The alert has been issued for large swathes of northern Britain and parts of Northern Ireland from 6pm on Wednesday until 6pm on Thursday with winds predicted to reach 70mph – and gusts touching 90mph in exposed areas.
There are fears the weather warning could be upgraded to amber as the area of deep low-pressure brings the volatile weather system to the UK.
Some forecasters have suggested the bad weather will bring the nation’s next named storm – Dudley – followed closely by the fifth christened Eunice possible soon after.
Calmer conditions could return in parts of the UK by the end of the week, so half-term plans for trips outdoors should be revised – even though it will still be quite breezy.
A Met Office summary states: “Very strong westerly winds are expected to develop across western Scotland and northern Northern Ireland later on Wednesday and extend eastward to most of Scotland and northern England overnight into Thursday.
“There is still some uncertainty in the timing and location of the strongest winds but there is the potential for inland wind gusts of 60-70 mph in places.
“Gusts of 80-90 mph are possible around exposed coasts and hills of Scotland. Winds are expected to ease, initially across western areas, through Thursday afternoon and evening.”
Forecaster Brian Gaze, of The Weather Outlook, added: “Unsettled weather is set to continue through the coming week. All of the UK can expect showers or longer spells of rain and in the north there is a risk of snow. However, the main concern is expected to be wind speeds from Wednesday onwards.
“Initially the worst of the gales are expected in the north but on Friday it could be the turn of southern and central Britain to take a battering.”
He added: “Unsettled weather continues through the weekend. All of the UK has showers or longer spells of rain but the wettest conditions are expected to be in the north. The risk of strong winds continues.
“The weather is looking unsettled through much of the rest of February. All of the UK can expect wet and windy spells, but rain totals will generally be higher in the north and west.
“Temperatures vary, but during the rest of the month taken as a whole they are expected to be above the average, particularly in the south. It may turn drier in the south during the last week of the month.”
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