Severe gales forecast across northern Britain


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The Independent Online

Severe gales will sweep across northern Britain over the weekend with gusts forecast to reach more than 80mph.

A severe weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for Scotland, Northern Ireland, North West England and the northern tip of Wales.

Transport links are expected to be disrupted with warnings that lorries could be overturned by strong winds, roads are likely to be blocked by fallen debris and ferry services could be cancelled as the gales whip up dangerous sea conditions.

Coastal areas could also face flooding, the Met Office said, especially where storm-driven waves combine with high tide.

Winds are expected to ease off late on Saturday but the weather warning will remain in place for much of northern Britain into Sunday.

The Met Office said in a statement: “A vigorous depression is expected to run quickly north-eastwards passing west of Scotland on Saturday. As this happens, very strong south to southwest winds are likely to develop across much of northern UK.

“At this stage there remains uncertainty in the extent of the strongest winds. It still remains possible that more of northern England and northwest  Wales could be affected.

“South to southwest winds will increase across many northern parts of the UK on Saturday with gales becoming widespread across Scotland and Northern Ireland. There is the potential for severe gales to develop, particularly across northwest Scotland. Gusts of 60 to 70 mph are likely…with a risk of gusts to 80 mph or more across exposed parts of northwest Scotland.”

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued a flood alert for Argyll and Bute, warning: “Large seas and gale force winds have the potential to result in some spray and wave overtopping at high tides on exposed coastlines in the region over the weekend.

“Port Ellon in particular could see some minor localised flooding to low lying land and roads on the high tides around 04:00 and 16:00 on Saturday and Sunday.

“Minor localised surface water issues are also possible on Saturday given the rainfall which could result in minor travel disruption.”