Storm Ellen to batter Britain with 70mph winds and rain

19 August 2020, 14:00

70mph winds are expected to batter the UK
70mph winds are expected to batter the UK. Picture: Getty

By Maddie Goodfellow

Britain is set to face a two day deluge of rain as Storm Ellen brings 70mph winds and torrential rain to much of the nation.

Storm Ellen is forecast to hit the UK and Ireland tonight, bringing torrential rain and fierce winds.

The Met Office says we could see as much as 50mm of rain over higher ground, falling within the space of six hours.

A new weather warning for Friday is now in place from 4am that day until 6pm.

The warning areas are East Midlands, East of England, London and South East England, North East England, North West England, South West Scotland, Lothian Borders, South West England, Strathclyde, Wales, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber.

Friday's wind could cause some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport, the Met Office has warned.

It also said that some bus and train services may be affected, with journeys taking longer.

High-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges could also face delays, and some short term loss of power and other services is possible in the warning area.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind on Wednesday and Thursday which names western parts of Wales, south-west Scotland and all of Northern Ireland as being at risk of being hit by the strong winds.

The warning states: "Although there is some uncertainty in the track of the low, gusts of 65mph are possible inland, with 70mph or more possible around coasts and hills. Whilst winds may temporarily ease during Thursday morning, a band of heavy rain is likely to move east during Thursday afternoon and evening accompanied by some locally squally winds."

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said: "Following the recent hot and thundery weather, we are seeing a significant change to very unsettled conditions for August with an unseasonal spell of strong winds associated with low-pressure centres for the second half of the week.

"Uncertainty remains high in the intensity of these systems at this point, but we are confident in the change to a spell of much windier weather."

He described it as a "very vigorous" weather system that has been created by the warm and moist air from a decayed tropical cyclone with normal North Atlantic air masses.

Temperatures are set to be much lower than the last 10 days, which have seen 30C-plus heat in many places.

Parts of East Anglia could still see highs of around 28C on Thursday.

Storm Ellen has already caused downpours across the UK
Storm Ellen has already caused downpours across the UK. Picture: PA

The storm has already brought severe and potentially damaging winds to parts of Ireland.

Met Eireann has upgraded its yellow weather warning for wind for all of Ireland to an orange one for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford as Storm Ellen may sweep northwards on Wednesday and Thursday.

The storm, which contains the remnants of Tropical Storm Kyle, is to move into the west coast of Ireland and bring severe gales.

Heavy rains are set to strike and a storm surge, spring tides and onshore winds may trigger coastal flooding.

The warning runs from Wednesday at 9pm through to Thursday at 12 noon.

Parts of Ireland look set to bear the brunt of the strongest of the winds that are being brought on by an "unseasonably, deep Atlantic low-pressure system" but western areas of the UK may also feel gusts of up to 70mph at the coast.

A red wind warning - the highest status - for Cork has been issued by Met Eireann as Storm Ellen sweeps across the country.

An orange warning has been issued to Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.

Heavy rains are set to strike and a storm surge, spring tides and onshore winds may trigger coastal flooding in the coming days.

The effects are expected to be felt from around 9pm on Wednesday, with warning in place until midday on Thursday.

A yellow wind warning is in place for the entire country from 9pm on Wednesday until midnight on Thursday.

Storm Ellen will move over Ireland bringing severe and damaging winds, Met Eireann warned.

There are concerns about tourists in campsites, who have been advised to leave the area.

A spokeswoman for Met Eireann said gale to storm-force winds will travel south east and south west on Wednesday evening and overnight over all Irish coastal waters and the Irish Sea.

"Winds will reach violent storm force 11 for a time on coasts from Carnsore point to Valentia to Slyne Head," the spokeswoman added.

"Unseasonably wet and very windy weather is expected from early Wednesday night until later Friday, with further rainfall and wind warnings likely.

"Strong winds at times may result in unsafe conditions and some disruption, especially over high ground, lakes and sea areas. There is also a risk of flooding."

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said: "Met Eireann have issued a status red severe wind warning for Cork.

"People should take Storm Ellen seriously - if you're in a campsite or caravan park, go home or prepare appropriately.

"Listen to warnings and alerts on media and from local authorities."

The Road Safety Authority appealed to road users to exercise caution over the next few days.