Saturday 26 October 2013

Hurricane heading for Britain

Weather: Storm Alerts As UK Set For 'Hurricane'
Forecasters are increasingly confident a storm packing hurricane-speed gusts of more than 80mph will hit Britain.

25 October, 2013

Severe weather alerts are in place for England and Wales, with an amber warning, meaning "be prepared", in place for southern counties.

The storm, which is moving across the Atlantic Ocean, would need to buffet the UK with sustained winds for it to be scientifically classed as a hurricane.

Forecasts show how the storm might develop and move towards the UK

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said the storm could cause structural damage, trees and power cables to come down and transport problems on Monday morning.

"We have been tracking the probable course of the storm and we are tracking it further north than we had thought earlier," she said.

A map showing weather warnings in place for England and Wales

The Met Office website shows amber and yellow alerts for Monday

"We have also revised the speed for gusts of wind up to 70 to 80mph inland, with the possibility of speeds in excess of 80mph in exposed coastal areas."

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

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

Some have compared its potential to the Great Storm of 1987 and record-breaking gales in south Wales in 1989.

Sky weather presenter Jo Wheeler said: "Late October is notorious for strong storms, with a wind gust of 124mph recorded in the Vale of Glamorgan in 1989.

"Should this storm achieve its potential, it is likely to bring down trees and cause damage to roads and buildings, possibly causing major transport disruption and power cuts."

The storm's trajectory is unclear but there are fears it may wreak havoc in England and Wales if it hits land.

If it does, it is likely to batter Wales and the South West before sweeping east and touching most of the country.

However, there is a chance it could miss land completely, sweeping instead through the English Channel.

The storm is expected to strike two weeks later than the Great Storm of 1987, which left a trail of destruction on October 15 and 16.

There are already fears the storm may compare to the Great Storm of 1987

Forecasters famously failed to predict its severity before it flattened trees, knocked out power and left 22 people dead in England and France

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