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Storm Barney to hit UK with winds of up to 80mph

Winds of up to 80mph look set to hit parts of the UK as the second storm to be named by the public – Storm Barney – sweeps in this week.

Yellow “be aware” warnings for wind have been issued for Wales, along with southern, central and eastern England on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

There are also rain warnings centred on north-west England and Wales.

Barney comes in the wake of Abigail, which left many homes without power and schools closed in parts of Scotland.

Low pressure

The Met Office said gusts could reach 70mph inland and up to 80mph along exposed coastal areas, particularly in Wales and through the Bristol Channel, on Tuesday.

Forecasters said the unsettled weather was the result of a series of low pressure systems moving in from the Atlantic.

Waves at Saltcoats in Ayrshire

North-west Scotland, meanwhile, could see severe gales on Monday, with warnings of gusts of up to 75mph.

The Met Office said in Scotland the strongest winds would initially develop across the Western Isles and north-west coast before extending into the Northern Isles during the evening and easing on Tuesday.

More flooding and disruption could be caused when heavy rain falls on already saturated ground in the next few days, the Met Office also warned.

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The Environment Agency said the overall flood risk remained low and the number of flood warnings was decreasing – but gale-force winds were expected to produce large waves which could top coastal defences, and river levels will remain high over the next week.

Craig Woolhouse, of the EA, urged people to remain alert to the risk and “stay away from raging rivers”.

“With so much standing water around, we ask people to stay out of flood water and not attempt to walk or drive through it,” he added.

Widespread damage

Barney is the second storm considered strong enough to be given a name under a new “name our storms” campaign between the Met Office and Met Eireann.

Storm Abigail caused widespread damage last week, leaving more than 20,000 homes without power and forcing schools to close in Shetland and the Western Isles.

The Highlands and Islands were worst hit by gusts of 84mph, while the rest of the UK experienced thundery showers, gales and flooding.

Gale force winds caused huge waves at Allonby in Cumbria as the tail end of Storm Abigail hit the coast

In Wales, Cumbria and north-east England, rivers burst their banks and flooded roads, farmland and train tracks, causing disruption.

Forecasters say there is due to be a change in the weather at the end of the week, with colder air spreading from the north and bringing wintry showers to northern parts of the UK, particularly over the hills.



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