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UK weather: Forecasters warn of 80mph wind and rain to batter Britain before arrival of ‘Storm Emily’

Met Office predicts ‘significant winter storm’ to hit Britain later this week

Forecasters have warned of severe weather that will continue to batter Scotland today, with flood alerts in place and predictions of winds up to 80mph.

The Met Office said the northwest should be braced for difficult conditions over the course of the afternoon, with “very strong winds” resulting in significant travel disruption.

A severe weather warning was also in place for parts of southern England, with heavy rain expected later today and forecast to get worse going into Monday.

“The public should be aware that this may cause some localised flooding”, the warning said.

Yesterday winds on higher ground reportedly reached speeds of up to 111mph, at Tomintoul in the Cairngorms National Park. A number of bridges were closed off to taller vehicles and ferry services were cancelled.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency added to the Met Office’s wind forecasts with its own flood alerts, with north and west coastal areas and parts of Tayside most likely to be affected.

And this weekend’s severe winds and rain came as a precursor to a much larger storm, forecast to hit Britain on Thursday.

Weather Channel meteorologist Leon Brown said there was a high risk of gales across Wales and the south. He said that if the storm arrives on 19 December, as predicted, it will be named Storm Emily after Emily Brontë, the author who died on that date 165 years ago.

The Met Office already has a severe weather warning scheduled for the storm, in force from 12.05am on Thursday. It said: “Given the potential for a significant winter storm the public should continue to monitor the Met Office website for updates to this warning.”