UK Braced For Strong Winds And Heavy Rain As Storm Ciara Hits
If you're planning on getting out and about this weekend, then you may wanna pack a brolly, as heavy rain is forecast for large parts of the UK.
Then again, strong winds are also forecast, so your brolly may very well blow away or do that annoying thing where it turns inside out and is rendered obsolete.
Storm Ciara is the name of this bout of severe weather that wants to ruin your plans, starting this afternoon in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the north of England and the north of Wales, with the Met Office issuing a yellow rain warning.
But if you live down south and you're feeling pretty smug, maybe you should think again, as the storm is expected to intensify on Sunday, with the Met Office issuing an amber weather warning and advising that very strong winds will batter the majority of England and Wales.
In inland areas, these winds are expected to reach around 50 to 60mph, however, in coastal areas, especially in south-east England and northern Scotland, gusts could reach speeds of 80mph.
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.
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"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 50-60mph are expected quite widely across inland areas, with even stronger gusts of 80mph or higher along coastal areas, especially in south-east England and northern Scotland."
These winds are expected to cause travel disruption and Network Rail will not allow trains to run in wind speeds in excess of 50mph.
A spokesperson for the infrastructure providers said: "High winds have the potential to damage overhead lines and tracks, for example through debris or lineside trees falling on to the railway.
"To keep passengers safe, reduced services and speed restrictions are likely to be in place across large parts of the rail network on Sunday.
"While the strongest winds are expected on Sunday, disruption could follow into Monday morning because high wind levels can make it unsafe for engineers to work at height, or with certain machinery, meaning any repairs might not be completed in time for Monday morning's services."
London North Eastern Railway - which runs most services on the East Coast main line from London to Yorkshire, Newcastle and Scotland - has advised people not to travel on Sunday and will be operating a reduced timetable.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is also advising people to stay away from the coastline and a lot of sports events could be cancelled too... Sounds like it's going to be a weekend to remember, doesn't it?
Featured Image Credit: PA