Storm Francis set to batter UK with 70mph winds and heavy rainfall

Forecasters estimate that ‘unseasonably wet and windy spell’ will last for 36 hours

Samuel Lovett
Monday 24 August 2020 16:58
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UK weather: The latest Met Office forecast

The UK is set to be battered by winds of up to 70mph and heavy rainfall when Storm Francis makes landfall in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A severe wind warning has been issued for the whole of Wales and parts of north England, with the Met Office saying that damage to buildings and injuries from “flying debris” are possible.

The gusts could reach 70mph in exposed western locations and 60mph almost everywhere, the Met Office said.

The rain is expected to be heaviest in Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland, where up to 90mm in total could fall as the storm moves from west to east.

Forecasters estimate that the “unseasonably wet and windy spell” will last for 36 hours.

It follows a similar period of unseasonable weather at the end of last week, coinciding with the arrival of Storm Ellen, which saw 15-year-old Nicola Williams swept to her death in the Rhymney River in Llanrumney, Cardiff, and a 50-year-old holidaymaker die in the sea near Helston, west Cornwall, after getting into difficulties.

Nicola Maxey, a press officer for the Met Office, said: “Since 2015, when we started naming storms, we have never had to name a storm in August – and now we’ve had two in a few days.

“There are a lot of people on holiday in the UK at the moment, going camping and on walking breaks, many in coastal locations where the winds are likely to be stronger, so it is worth checking on the Met Office website ahead of time.”

Forecasters said the winds were “unusual” for August, and might result in disruption to transport and outdoor activities.

Storm Francis is expected to clear by Wednesday lunchtime, leaving a brighter and more settled outlook for the remainder of the day, the Met Office said.

No new storm is currently forecast this month, meaning the next storm will begin with “A” rather than “G”, as the storm-naming calendar resets on 1 September.

The Met Office said the bank holiday weekend would likely be a mixture of sunshine and some scattered showers across the country.

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