Stormy conditions to move south this week


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The Independent Online

Stormy conditions that brought havoc to Scotland are expected to return to other parts of the UK this week, forecasters said.

Wind speeds up to 165mph were recorded during the worst of the storm that hit parts of Scotland and northern England, bringing down trees and power lines, causing disruption to roads and closing schools.

But as Scotland and northern England recovered from the wind damage, there were more warnings of storms further south - with forecasters saying wind speeds could reach 100mph later in the week.

Strong winds are forecast to return to the UK in the next few days, but not at the force experienced last Thursday.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for strong winds and heavy rain on Monday night for most of England, with the South East expected to be hit hard.

Windy weather is expected to continue into Tuesday, with the potential for "severe gales" or storm-force winds across Northern Ireland and the southern half of Britain.

There could also be frequent, heavy showers, bringing the risk of surface water flooding.

Aisling Creevey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather forecasting arm of the Press Association, said it was too early to tell where the winds would hit.

She said the country could expect winds of between 80mph and 100mph.

"It is very difficult to know at this stage where exactly the storms are going to be," she said.

"There's a system coming through on Tuesday and again on Thursday - it looks as if they will be two stormy days.

"We could see gusts of 100mph in some places - but there is very little confidence about exactly where."

A Met Office spokesman said: "Strong winds on Monday evening have the potential to cause some disruption, especially in areas exposed to the south.

"In addition, rain will turn persistent and heavy, bringing the risk of surface water flooding over south-west England and Wales.

"At this stage there is some uncertainty and the public are advised to monitor forecasts to keep up to date with this warning."

Engineers are still battling to restore power to hundreds of homes in Scotland, as freezing temperatures hit.

Yesterday, the thermometer plunged to -7.7C (18.4F) in Drumnadrochit in the Highlands, while Glasgow dropped to -1.5C (29.3F), Aberdeen to -1.3C (29.66F) and Edinburgh to -0.4C (31.3F).

Scottish Hydro said huge efforts were made, particularly in Tayside and central areas of Scotland, to bring the number down from about 29,000 on Friday - and from about 105,000 at its peak.

Just a few hundred people in outlying areas are still without power today.

Engineers have been hampered by roads blocked by trees and other wind-borne debris.