Hurricane Ophelia reaches 100mph winds as it approaches UK threatening travel disruption and power cuts

The Met Office has issued severe weather alerts with heavy rain and high winds expected to impact travel and mobile-phone signal

Natasha Salmon
Saturday 14 October 2017 15:00
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Hurricane Ophelia is set to hit the UK

Hurricane Ophelia is reaching winds of up to 100mph in the Atlantic Ocean as it approaches the UK, forecasters say.

The storm is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the British Isles early next week, after a weekend of warm weather with temperatures of about 23C in some places.

The Met Office has issued severe weather alerts, warning of potential power cuts, damage to buildings and disruption to transport networks and mobile-phone signals.

The tropical storm is currently making its way across the Atlantic Ocean as a category 1 hurricane with winds of up to 100mph.

The remnants of the storm are set to hit much of the west coast of the country on Monday.

Before the storm, a yellow warning for rain is in place for Saturday morning across parts of northern England, with up to 50mm of rain over high ground and as much as 70mm possible over the most exposed hills.

Monday will then see a spell of “very windy weather” sweeping across western parts of the UK, according to the Met Office, which has issued a yellow warning for wind early next week, with the potential for gusts of 80mph in coastal areas, particularly in Northern Ireland.

Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, and there could be power cuts, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile-phone coverage.

Forecasters say some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs, is possible, and could lead to injuries and danger to life from flying debris, while coastal routes and sea fronts may be affected by spray or large waves.

Meanwhile, the mercury is set to rise over the coming days, with temperatures of 25C (77F) predicted.

A Met Office spokeswoman said: “The east side of the country is certainly benefiting from some warmer temperatures into the weekend and at the start of next week.”

She said temperatures in the south east will be about 20C (68F), going up to 22C (72F) or 23C (73F) on Sunday and “almost mid-20s” on Monday, possibly getting to about 25C (77F).

“Even up as far as Nottingham on Monday will see 20C/21C, but may well see 22C/23C,” she said.

Additional reporting by agencies.

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