Storm Atiyah: UK facing 75mph gales as storm blows in from Ireland

8 December 2019, 22:28

File photo: 75mph winds could hit parts of the country
File photo: 75mph winds could hit parts of the country. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Gales of over 75mph could batter the UK overnight as the strong winds brought by Storm Atiyah are expected to worsen.

The storm is set to hit Britain on Sunday night and Monday morning as it sweeps in from Ireland, where it disrupted transport and power networks.

A yellow weather alert from the Met Office warned of very strong winds striking west Wales and south-west England.

Wind speeds of 78mph were recorded at Sherkin Island and Roches Point on the south coast of Ireland on Sunday, while the Isles of Scilly saw gusts of 71mph.

On the UK mainland the wind hit 70mph at Culdrose in Cornwall just after 8pm.

Sea fronts in coastal communities could be affected by spray and large waves, while delays to transport and power cuts are possible.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said on Sunday night: "The winds across particularly the south west will strengthen further so we will be seeing some gusts in excess of 75mph overnight.

"Widely across the UK I'm seeing gusts, pretty much from top to tail, of 30 to 40mph.

"The strong winds are pretty widespread. It's very windy in the west and south west so that's where we're going to see the greatest impact unfortunately."

The M48 Severn Bridge introduced lane closures on Sunday due to increasing wind speeds.

The worst of the winds will hit overnight on Sunday
The worst of the winds will hit overnight on Sunday. Picture: PA

South Wales Police advised drivers to slow down and be prepared for stronger winds when passing high-sided vehicles.

Network Rail imposed speed restrictions on CrossCountry and Great Western Railway services between Taunton in Somerset and Penzance in Cornwall on Sunday night.

Mr Burkill said the worst of the winds from Atiyah, the first named storm of the season, are expected to abate by Monday afternoon, with conditions remaining blustery.

Further unsettled, wet and windy weather is forecast for mid-week, with warnings likely to be issued on Tuesday covering Scotland, the North East and North West, he added.