Storm Barra lashes UK with snow and strong winds
Storm Barra is set to bring strong winds and heavy snow to many parts of the UK today (7 December).
The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings running from 9am until midnight tonight.
Hundreds of homes in the North East of England are still without power due to the previous categorised storm - Storm Arwen - which lashed the UK with winds of close to 100mph.
Many of these properties are in the yellow warning area for snow and wind.
But where exactly will Storm Barra strike and what kind of conditions can we expect?
When and where will Storm Barra hit?
Storm Barra has struck the UK and Ireland during rush hour.
Here are five key things you need to know:
- Gusts of 45-50mph are expected widely, with wind speeds likely to hit 60-70mph in exposed coastal locations
- The winds are expected to be accompanied by rainfall
- Two to five centimetres of snow is anticipated to “accumulate widely” across the North of England, parts of southern Scotland and the Highlands. This could reach 20cm in some parts of Scotland
- The weather warnings will be in place between 9am and midnight. With the Republic of Ireland expecting the winds to hit its western coast from 6am, Northern Ireland will have to contend with the storm during rush hour
- The Republic of Ireland is set to bear the brunt of the storm, with western coastal areas expecting gusts of up to 80mph
The Met Office said drivers in the areas set to be hit by snow should expect poor visibility as a strong south-easterly wind will lead to snow drifting in places.
It added that large waves carried a “small chance” of risk to life by throwing beach material onto sea front, coastal roads and properties.
The Environment Agency has issued three flood warnings for England’s south coast, as well as 35 flood alerts.
Ireland has been hit hardest by the storm, with Irish broadcaster RTE reporting at least 33,000 properties are currently without power.
It also said the city of Cork had been flooded.
The worst of the storm is not expected to make landfall until 11am, RTE said.
Hundreds remain without power due to Storm Arwen
Storm Barra has hit the UK 10 days after the previous categorised storm - Storm Arwen.
More than a million households had their power supply knocked out by the storm.
While Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said it had restored power to all of the Scottish homes affected by outages, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) said 3,190 homes in England were still waiting to be reconnected as of 2pm on Sunday.
This number has now gone down to 700 homes and businesses.
The majority of properties still without power are in the North East of England, the ENA said.
It added energy network operators were working together to prepare for Storm Barra.
Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge warned that gale force winds of 45-50mph on Tuesday and into Wednesday would not make it “easier” for those trying to reconnect the remaining homes.
“It’s certainly not going to aid things with those sorts of wind strengths, and a mixture of rain and snow in there as well,” he said.
The news comes after Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng visited the North East on Sunday to survey the damage caused by Storm Arwen.
He told the PA news agency: “I think we can make the system a lot more resilient.
“We will have a review, we will see if the distributor companies have enough infrastructure, we may even have enforcement action if necessary.”
Energy regulator Ofgem has warned it will take enforcement action against the network companies who failed to restore power to customers quickly enough.
It has also agreed with firms to lift the £700 cap on compensation which could be offered to those stuck without power.
The change will allow those affected to claim £70 for each 12-hour period they have no electricity, after an initial £70 for the first 48 hours of any cut.
Additional reporting by PA