Tuesday, 29 Sep 2020

'Danger to life likely' as Storm Francis is upgraded to second highest level

The Met Office has upgraded Storm Francis to its second highest level, meaning injuries and danger to life is now likely.

An amber alert for severe wind covers much of Wales and central England from 2pm this afternoon until later tonight.

A yellow weather warnings for wind and rain already covers most of the UK.

Francis hit the UK with 70mph winds overnight ahead of wet and windy disrupting vast swathes of the country today.

The heaviest of the rain is expected to fall across Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland with the Met Office warning of the potential for flooding.

It said up to 90 mm of rain could fall while a yellow warning for wind is in place in Wales and most of England with gusts of up to 70mph predicted.

Mount Batten, Plymouth, recorded gusts of 51mph overnight.

Mace Head, in Co Galway on the west coast of Ireland also recorded gusts of 51mph on Tuesday morning, while 30.8 mm of rain fell between 5pm and 11pm in parts of Co Kerry.

Fire crews were called to The Square in Bantry, Co Cork, after flooding, and one flood alert is in place in Wales, and 29 flood warnings across England, Wales and Scotland.

The Met Office has never had two named storms in August since the process started in 2015, but Francis comes on the back of Ellen which struck last week and caused power outages.

Ellen also saw 15-year-old Nicola Williams swept to her death in the Rhymney River in Llanrumney, Cardiff, and a 50-year-old holidaymaker die in the sea near Helston, west Cornwall, after getting into difficulties.

Alex Deakin from the Met Office said it will be ‘wet and windy for large chunks of the UK’.

He added: ‘The bands of rain (will) move into Northern Ireland and stick around, move into Scotland and hang around for most of the day.’

Forecasters said the winds were ‘unusual’ for August, but would have to go some way to beat the current record wind gust speed of 87mph recorded at The Needles on the Isle of Wight in August 1996.

Likewise, the wettest August on record in the UK was in 1912 when 167.3 mm was recorded across the country as a whole.

Between August 1 and 22, the UK as a whole had seen some 72.7mm of rainfall – around four-fifths of the average rainfall for the month.

No new storm is currently forecast this month, meaning the next storm will begin with A rather than G, as the storm-naming calendar resets on September 1.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow.

Source: Read Full Article

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