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UK weather: Storm Helene approaches with 70mph gusts

4:13 pm, 16th September 2018

Travel services are likely to be disrupted and some places could see trees uprooted by strong winds between 6pm Monday and 8am Tuesday, forecasters say.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning – which means “be aware” – covering the north of England, Northern Ireland, the south west of Scotland and Lothian Borders, Strathclyde, Yorkshire and Humber, Wales and the south west of England.

“Winds are likely to gust into the 40s or low 50s mph quite widely across the warning area,” it said.

“Meanwhile, in some Irish Sea coastal areas, most likely in Wales and northwest England, gusts to 55-65mph are likely, with possible isolated gusts in excess of 70mph in the most exposed places.

“High gusts in the 50s or low 60mph area are also possible over high ground in northern England during the early hours of Tuesday.”

The weather could create travel problems, including delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges.

There could also be power cuts for homes in the affected areas.

Large waves could hit coastal communities.

The Met Office said: “Storm Helene is expected to move northeastwards across the British Isles later Monday and early Tuesday before clearing into the northern North Sea by early Tuesday morning.

“A spell of strong winds is expected, initially mainly in the far southwest of England and across western Wales.

“The strongest winds then transfer northwards to be over northern England and, perhaps, the far south of Scotland, during the early hours of Tuesday.”

It comes as extreme storms have battered the US and Asia, with a typhoon causing destruction in the Philippines, China and Hong Kong, and Florence – which began life as a hurricane but has weakened to a tropical depression – wreaking havoc in the Carolinas.

Sky’s weather presenter Jo Edwards said Helene is forecast to move across Ireland and Scotland but rain would be short-lived, as the storm “is moving rapidly”.

She added: “The most damaging gusts are likely to be over western parts of the UK mainland and to occur overnight into Tuesday.

“Much of England and Wales will stay dry on Monday, despite Helene’s proximity, but will turn very warm as the storm drags in some tropical air. Temperatures may well rise as high as 25C (77F).

“Tuesday will start wet and windy for many, but it will become drier and brighter later.

“The respite will be brief, with another storm scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.”