UK weather forecast: Woman dies after tree falls onto her car as 80mph winds blow over trees and scaffolding triggering ‘danger to life’ warning

Fireworks displays could be affected by wet and windy weather

Samuel Osborne
Saturday 02 November 2019 12:04
UK weather: The latest Met Office forecast

A woman has died after a tree fell on her car, Dorset Police said.

The victim in her 60s was pronounced dead at the scene in Wimborne and her next of kin have been informed the force said in statement.

"We have specially-trained officers supporting the family at this difficult time," said Sergeant Lee Savage, of the Dorset Police traffic unit, before appealing for witnesses.

Her death came as high winds of more than 80mph blew over trees and scaffolding, leaving cars damaged and transport disrupted in parts of the UK.

The Met Office ​has issued a number of rain and wind warnings across the south of England and Wales, including a “danger to life” warning, while a band of rain could affect northern Scotland.

Those attending fireworks displays in southern parts of the country could be affected by the wet and windy weather.

“Today [Saturday] sees a spell of quite unsettled weather across the UK,” Matthew Box, a meteorologist at the Met Office, told The Independent. “We’ve got an area of low pressure bringing rain, in particular for south Wales and parts of southwest England. The low pressure is also bringing some strong winds across the southern part of the UK as well.”

The Met Office said a number of trees had been brought down by strong gusts.

South Western Railways said a number of trees were blocking the line between Woking and Weymouth and warned services could be delayed or cancelled.

Dorset Police posted a photograph on social media showing scaffolding which had collapsed on to a line of parked cars due to the strong gusts. The structure was blown over in Dorset Street, Blandford Forum, during the early hours, the force said.

Met Office weather warnings in place on Saturday

The Met Office said winds of 83mph were recorded in Plymouth and 82mph in Culdrose in Cornwall.

Inland winds of 40mph to 55mph had been reported with some areas seeing gusts of up to 60mph.

“There’s a small chance roads and bridges will close” as a result of the gale force winds, Mr Box said.

“The focus of those stronger winds is moving down along the south coast. As this low pressure which is bringing bad weather moves gradually down towards the north sea, those peak winds will gradually die down, but still remain gale force.

“We’re going to see gusts of 40-45mph, and up to 55mph around the coast and exposed places. Across the warning area, which covers a lot of the south coast, London and east Anglia, we’re going to see that strength gust continue into the afternoon.”

Rainfall levels are expected reach 30-40mm widely across Wales and southwest England, but locally could reach 50-60mm.

Mr Box said: “The low pressure is going to bring rain with it and that rain is going to be heavy and persistent in places.

“In particular we have two rain warnings out, one for Scotland and one for south Wales and parts of the West Country. In those areas we could see essentially 30-40mm where the rain is prolonged. In high areas we could see 50-60mm.

“For Scotland, across the northeast and eastern parts we’ve got a front moving in from the North Sea on an easterly flow, that could see 25-40mm and again 60-80mm over high ground in those areas. We have yellow rain warnings out for those areas.”

The Environment Agency has issued nine flood warnings and 70 flood alerts across England.

The Met Office advised those attending or organising local bonfire events to take care.

It said people should be mindful of the strength of the winds before setting off fireworks.

“Anyone going out for their fireworks display on Saturday night should certainly look at the weather forecast and see if it’s still on and prepare themselves for any wet weather that might be lingering around on Saturday night,” Mr Box said.

“For Sunday, the winds are much lighter so are not expected to be too much of a problem for any potential fireworks displays.

“However, there could be some spells of rain for some.”

Lewisham Council, which organises the display at Blackheath, southeast London, said it is currently proceeding as planned.

“Obviously we will continue to monitor the weather conditions,” a spokesperson said.

“The safety of the public is always our number one priority.”

Organisers at Alexandra Palace in north London also said they planned to go ahead despite the weather warnings.

Sunday is expected to be a somewhat brighter day with fewer blustery winds and showers.

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“As we head in to Sunday, the winds are going to ease as we head in to the overnight period,” Mr Box said.

“That low pressure continues to affect the UK but winds will be by and large a lot lighter across the south in particular and we should see a mixture of sunny spells but cloudier periods too, with some showery rain affecting eastern and western parts of England and Wales.

“We will be continuing to see some persistent rainy affecting eastern and northeastern parts of Scotland, where the rain warning continues into Sunday.

“We will see some strong winds return to the southwest, mainly for Cornwall for a time on Sunday afternoon, and the strong winds that are affecting the far north will ease through Sunday.”

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