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UK braces for second storm in as many days as Jocelyn brings ‘danger to life’ warnings and 80mph winds

Country still grappling with chaos wreaked by Storm Isha, which left four people dead

Tara Cobham
Tuesday 23 January 2024 18:55 GMT
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Storm Jocelyn to wreak havoc with more wind and rain expected

The UK is braced for what is set to be even more severe weather as Storm Jocelyn brings “danger to life” warnings and gusts of up to 80mph, becoming the second storm to hit the country within two days.

Britain now faces another battering from wind and rain, with major disruption to transport services expected, as the country is still grappling with the chaos wreaked by Storm Isha, which left four people dead and brought gales close to 100mph.

More than 100 flood warnings and alerts remain in place across the UK, as flooding is still present in parts of York and thousands remain affected by power cuts.

Some 4,900 people were still without power in Britain as of 10am on Tuesday (PA)

As the 10th storm to hit Britain in five months descends, the Met Office has issued amber and yellow weather warnings for wind covering much of the country – with those in Scotland warning of a chance of injury and danger to life from large waves and beach material being thrown.

These are alongside yellow warnings for rain covering parts of western and southern Scotland and northwest England. A yellow warning for ice has also been issued across northern and eastern parts of Scotland.

Gusts of 80mph could be experienced in exposed areas, with 40-50mm of rain possible over higher ground, the forecaster said.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said Storm Jocelyn, named by Met Eireann, could cause more disruption than Storm Isha.

Drivers have been advised to avoid parking underneath or close to trees (PA)

He said: “Although this system will be a step down relative to Storm Isha, with the damage and clean up still under way, we could potentially see more impacts from Storm Jocelyn.

“Outbreaks of heavy rain on Tuesday could bring rainfall accumulations of 15 to 20mm quite widely, with 40 to 50mm over higher ground in southwest Scotland, the Scottish Highlands and parts of northwest England.

“Wind gusts are expected to reach 55 to 65mph across northwestern Scotland, while there is potential for winds to reach 75 to 80mph in a few places, in particular in exposed parts of the Western Isles and coastal northwest Scotland early on Wednesday morning.”

After services had only just recovered on Monday, further travel chaos was expected as more severe weather arrived on Tuesday. No trains will be in operation after 7pm in Scotland, and drivers have been advised to postpone their journeys and not to park near trees.

The Met Office has issued amber and yellow weather warnings for wind covering much of the country (Met Office)

TransPennine Express, the intercity train operator in northern England and southern Scotland, has even issued a “do not travel” notice, “strongly urging” customers travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow not to make their journey after 3pm.

Martin Thomson, national operations manager for resilience at Transport Scotland, said: “Across the wider network, we can expect to see more delays and cancellations, with ferries, flights and rail, from Tuesday into Wednesday morning.”

Liam Sumpter, route director for Network Rail Scotland, said Storm Isha had caused “a huge amount of damage” and that teams had been working “around the clock” to remove fallen trees and debris and repair damaged infrastructure.

A tree falling on overhead wires on a railway track even caused a fire in Gartcosh, near Cumbernauld, on Sunday.

Storm Isha left four people dead (PA)

Mr Sumpter went on: “While we are continuing to reopen routes when it is safe to do so, we unfortunately expect even more disruption in the coming days as Storm Jocelyn arrives in Scotland.

“If you’re planning on travelling by train this week, please check the status of your journey with your train operator.

“We’re also urging lineside neighbours to make sure that garden furniture and equipment is secure, as in high winds, this can blow onto the railway, causing damage and disruption.”

Avanti West Coast urged passengers not to travel north of Preston after 3.30pm on Tuesday.

More than 100 flood warnings and alerts remain in place across the UK, as flooding is still present in parts of York and thousands remain affected by power cuts (PA)

Services to and from Scotland are expected to be suspended until at least noon on Wednesday.

Road journeys are also likely to be affected by the storm.

RAC spokesperson Alice Simpson said: “With so much heavy rainfall and debris on the roads, driving conditions will be very challenging, especially across northern parts of the country where the weather is at its worst.

“Visibility will be severely reduced due to the spray from lorries and other large vehicles, and the amount of water on the roads will increase stopping distances.

Gusts of 80mph could be experienced in exposed areas, with 40-50mm of rain possible over higher ground (PA)

“We urge drivers to consider postponing their journeys in these areas if at all possible. We also suggest drivers avoid parking underneath or near to trees.”

Meanwhile, the number of flood warnings – meaning that flooding is expected – has reached 16 in England, while there were 99 flood alerts in place on Tuesday evening.

It comes after the Met Office said the highest recorded windspeed during Storm Isha was 99mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland, with gusts of 90mph at Capel Curig in Snowdonia on Sunday.

High Atlantic swells at Fanore, County Clare in the Republic of Ireland as Storm Jocelyn hits (PA)

A man in his sixties was killed in a crash involving two vans and a fallen tree in Limavady, Co Londonderry, on Sunday night, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said.

Later that night, an 84-year-old man died after the car in which he was a front seat passenger crashed into a fallen tree in Grangemouth, Falkirk, Police Scotland said.

Earlier on Sunday evening, in Ireland, a man in his forties died in a car crash in County Mayo, while a woman in her twenties died after a van she was a passenger in crashed into a tree at 1.50am on Monday morning.

A 26-year-old man was in a critical condition on Monday night after his car hit a tree on a road in Northumberland, police said.

People in affected areas have been warned against driving (AFP via Getty)

Tens of thousands of homes suffered power cuts due to Storm Isha.

Some 4,900 people were still without power in Britain as of 10am on Tuesday, mainly in the north of England and the south of Scotland, the Energy Networks Association said.

In Northern Ireland, around 7,000 customers were without power.

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