Scotland expected to escape severe storm weather

Picture: Jane Barlow
Picture: Jane Barlow
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Scotland is expected to escape the worst of a fierce storm that is due to hit the southern part of the UK this weekend.

Forecasters have warned that a storm crossing the Atlantic is expected gather strength and could batter parts of England and Wales with winds of more than 80 mph late on Sunday.

Gale force winds are likely to be strong enough to bring down trees and cause damage to roads and buildings.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for wind and rain for all of England and Wales on Monday and told people to be prepared.

But forecasters said Scotland was expected to get away with a wet weekend, with light winds and patchy sun.

Atlantic storms of this severity usually develop further west across the ocean, losing strength by the time they reach the UK and Ireland.

This storm is expected to appear much closer to land, potentially moving across the country while it is in its most powerful phase.

A strong jet stream and warm air close to the UK are contributing to the development and strength of the storm.

If it hits land, it could be the worst storm of the year for the south so far.

Eddy Carroll, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “This storm doesn’t exist at the moment, but our forecasts models predict it is likely to develop in the west Atlantic on Saturday.

“Then it’s likely to rapidly intensify just west of the UK late on Sunday before tracking across England and Wales early on Monday.

“There is still a chance this storm may take a more southerly track and miss the UK, bringing impacts elsewhere in northern Europe, but people should be aware there is a risk of severe weather and significant disruption.

“With that in mind, people should keep up to date with and act on the advice in our forecasts and warnings as the situation develops.”

Met Office spokeswoman Laura Young said patchy showers would cover much of the west coast on Friday night, gradually giving way with a chance of fog early Saturday. Much of the country will be dry tomorrow initially, with heavy rain coming in from the west and spready east, again drying up early Sunday.

By Sunday afternoon, much of Scotland will have “heavy showers with sunny intervals” and just slight winds of 15-17mph and gusts up to 30mph or maybe 40 on the far west coast.

Ms Young added that parts of Scotland are used to gusts of 80mph wind, but London is not.

Some experts suggested that the potential storm has echoes of the great storm of 1987, but were wary of making mistakes such as that of weather man Michael Fish famously downplaying what was ahead.

Heavy rain and windspeeds from Sunday will continue Monday in Scotland, drying up by the evening and leaving a fine Tuesday.