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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Stormy weather batters Britain

The latest round of unsettled weather added more misery to the January blues as people returned to work after the Christmas and New Year holidays.


The bad weather meant some East Coast main line trains between London and Scotland had to start and terminate at Newcastle upon Tyne.


Also, buses had to replace trains on some East Coast services between London and Harrogate and Hull.


And the QEII Bridge on the M25 between Essex and Kent was closed due to gale-force winds.


In Northern Ireland 105mph winds hit Malin Head in Co Donegal.


While at Great Dun Fell in the Pennines gusts of 106mph were recorded.


The Met Office issued severe weather warnings across many regions of the UK.


Forecasters told those living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to be prepared, while localised flooding and a marked drop in temperature was expected for parts of Wales and north-west England.


Scotland was braced for the harshest weather conditions ? the Met Office has issued warnings for both snow and high winds.


Parts of Wales saw gusts of more than 90mph in the early hours, with gusts of 93mph hitting Aberdaron in North Wales.


Billy Payne, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "Much of Wales and south-west England have had gusts of over 60mph this morning.

"As low pressure comes in, central and south Scotland will bear the brunt of the winds today. We will see gusts of 70mph to 80mph, even 85mph in places."

He warned of "heavy rain, stormy winds and severe gales with damaging gusts", but said the rain should clear most parts of the country by this afternoon.

Mr Payne added: "The rain will probably hang on nearer Scotland, leading to hill snow.

"Upland areas of the north and west may see couple of inches of rain. It will cause ponding of water on the roads."


SEVERE warnings issued as storms with 85mph winds batter country


Weather experts predicted a marked drop in temperature yesterday, with the unusually mild conditions that prevailed over Christmas and the New Year making way for more seasonal mercury readings.


Issuing a yellow warning for strong winds and heavy rain, the Met Office said: "A spell of wet and very windy weather will affect the UK during Tuesday."


People were warned of "the possibility of disruption" to travel due to strong winds this morning in most parts and during the afternoon across north-eastern Scotland.


The Met Office added: "A spell of heavy rain will also affect many regions, with a risk of localised flooding over parts of Wales and north-west England."


In the South West, the Environment Agency has "yellow" flood alerts active on 21 rivers from Cornwall to Wiltshire.


The Tamar Bridge, which spans the river between Devon and Cornwall, has been closed to high-sided vehicles because of strong winds.


First Great Western rail services between Truro and Penzance are being affected by an obstruction blocking "all lines".


The Port of Dover in Kent have announced that it has closed due to strong winds of Force 11 in the English Channel.


A spokesman said passengers should contact their operator before setting out to the port.

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