North Devon on standby for arrival of Atlantic storm
- Credit: Archant
Severe weather front on course to hit south coast tomorrow night.
THE Met Office has warned that a ‘severe storm’ forming in Atlantic is expected to hit the south coast of England tomorrow night (Sunday).
An intense low pressure system is set to batter southern counties with gusts of up to 80mph and persistent heavy rainfall with the potential for localised flooding, especially where drainage is impeded by wind-blown debris.
Large waves are also forecast for coastal areas and an ‘amber warning’ has been issued, meaning people should be prepared.
Forecasters say the timing and intensity of the wind is still uncertain, but warn the storm has the potential to cause widespread severe disruption through falling trees, structural damage, transport disruption or power cuts and possibly flooding.
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Frank Saunders, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “We are confident that a severe storm will affect Britain on Sunday night and Monday. We are now looking at refining the details about which areas will see the strongest winds and the heaviest rain.
“This is a developing situation and we’d advise people to stay up to date with our forecasts and warnings over the weekend, and be prepared to change their plans if necessary.
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“We’ll continue to work closely with authorities and emergency services to ensure they are aware of the expected conditions.”
An Environment Agency spokesperson said teams were already out working to minimise river flood risk by clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation ready to issue flood warnings if needed. We are supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding.
“Seafronts, quaysides, jetties should be avoided due to the risk of overtopping by waves and wind blown shingle.
“People are advised to sign up to receive free flood warnings from the Environment Agency website, check weather reports on the Met Office website and be prepared to change travel plans.”
Martin Hobbs the head of asset resilience at the Highways Agency added: “We are working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions ahead of the weather being forecast over the weekend.
“Drivers, especially those considering a trip with a caravan this weekend, are encouraged to think carefully before setting off as driving conditions are expected to be difficult on Sunday evening and Monday.
“If you do have to make a journey by road, be prepared, plan your journey in advance and check the latest weather conditions along your route.
“Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space.
“In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close certain bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signposted diversion routes.”
Check back for more updates as we have them.