Storm Arwen - latest: People urged to stay indoors as winds hit 78mph and man killed by falling tree

Storm Arwen - latest: People urged to stay indoors as winds hit 78mph and man killed by falling tree
© PA PRI179974004.jpg

LIVE – Updated at 23:04

People have been urged to stay indoors and avoid driving as Storm Arwen sweeps into the country, with the Met Office issuing a rare red weather warning for parts of northern England and Scotland.

Forecasters urged the public to be aware of the prospect of gale-force winds from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning with the first winter storm of the season set to batter the country, bringing snow of up to 15cm to higher ground.

Gusts had reached 78mph in some places by Friday evening, but are forecast to rise as high as 100mph with the alert, which stretches along the east coast from Newcastle upon Tyne to beyond Aberdeen, warning of flying debris that could result in a “danger to life”.

On Friday, a driver in Antrim, Northern Ireland, was killed when a falling tree hit his car as strong winds buffeted the UK.

Key Points

  • Rare red weather warning and snow alert issued by Met Office
  • Met Office raises wind warning to amber for Wales and southwest England
  • 15cm of snow forecast for Scotland and northern England
  • Chance of snow in central and southeast England too, Met Office says
  • Travel warnings issued as weather forecast to cause delays

Gusts of 78mph recorded in Scotland

22:30 , Rory Sullivan

Wind speeds reached 78 mph in Scotland on Friday, the Met Office has confirmed.

The strongest gusts so far came in Inverbervie, a town on the country’s north-east coast. However, winds are predicted to reach around 100mph at the peak of Storm Arwen.

In a tweet, the Met Office reminded people that weather warnings are still in place.

Some horrendous conditions out there this evening, with very high #winds, very rough seas, heavy #rain and some #snow too

Highest low-level gust so far: 78 mph at Inverbervie

Multiple warnings in force, stay #WeatherAware#StormArwen pic.twitter.com/8oxFs37CwK

— Met Office (@metoffice) November 26, 2021

Waterfalls ‘blowing upwards’ in Scotland

21:05 , Tom Batchelor

Waterfalls blowing upwards in Caithness, Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 as Storm Arwen rips through the country.

🎥 By David Proudfoot via @LeptaLaMayorpic.twitter.com/tBCPrddJN3

— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) November 26, 2021

Driver killed by falling tree

19:30 , Tom Batchelor

A driver was killed when a falling tree hit his car as strong winds swept into the UK.

The accident, in Antrim, Northern Ireland, happened after the Met Office issued a rare red weather warning for coastal areas in the northeast of the UK. The Dublin Road was closed in both directions after the accident.

Read more here.

‘Too early to say what services tomorrow morning will look like,’ says ScotRail

19:30 , Tom Batchelor

Scotland’s train operator, ScotRail, has warned of disruption on the rails and said it was still “too early to say what services tomorrow morning will look like”.

ScotRail has already warned of train cancellations because of the storm, and said on many routes it is limiting train speeds.

⚠️ #StormArwen means major disruption to services in the north and east of Scotland.

Check your journey before travelling today (26 November), we’ll post all our disruption updates in the thread below.

— ScotRail (@ScotRail) November 26, 2021

Flights disrupted by stormy weather

18:39 , Tom Batchelor

Flight tracking app FlightRadar24 shows flights operating from Scotland are being affected by the stormy weather.

Looks like one of the first victims of tonight’s storm. pic.twitter.com/73zvBM2VEx

— SPD travels 🚄✈️🌉 (@SPD_travels) November 26, 2021

Man dies after car hit by falling tree

18:10 , Tom Batchelor

A man has died after his car was hit by a falling tree in Northern Ireland.

The incident occurred on the Dublin Road in Antrim on Friday.

A PSNI spokesperson said the road remains closed in both directions and diversions are in place.

It comes as the Met Office issued a warning for strong winds as Storm Arwen arrives in the UK.

I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! to be pre-recorded due to Storm Arwen

17:45 , Tom Batchelor

Friday’s episode of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! will be broadcast as a pre-recorded show rather than live due to the severe weather forecast caused by Storm Arwen.

ITV said this is part of “precautionary measures” being put in place.

A show statement said: “Ant & Dec will record their links early evening and these will be played out during tonight’s show.

“Our celebrities will remain inside the castle, which is secure, and we have contingencies in place to cover all weather scenarios to ensure the safety of our cast and crew.”

Latest forecast from MeteoGroup

17:19 , Tom Batchelor

Here is the latest weather forecast provided by MeteoGroup for the weekend:

Saturday: Early outbreaks of snow, rain and drizzle will become confined to eastern areas during the day. The best of the dry and sunny conditions will be across northern and western areas. There is a chance of a few wintry showers developing. Feeling very cold with strong winds and a risk of gales.

Saturday night: Rain, sleet and snow will clear eastwards during the evening. Dry overnight with clear spells and variable amounts of cloud. A chance of showers for coastal areas. Thick cloud will build across Northern Ireland, northern Scotland and western areas of Britain bringing a risk of showers, some wintry.

UK Outlook (Sunday and Monday): Mostly dry with sunny spells tomorrow but there will be more cloud in the north and west. A chance of showers which may be wintry in nature. Monday will be largely dry with bright spells and variable amounts of cloud cover. There will be spells of rain, sleet and snow across northern Scotland.

Scottish government meets to discuss storm plan and urges public not to travel

16:49 , Tom Batchelor

The Scottish government met on Friday to discuss the approaching storm, and on Friday evening advised members of the public not to travel following the red weather warning.

John Swinney, the deputy first minister, said: “The decision by the Met Office to issue a rare red weather warning for strong winds signals a potentially damaging and dangerous risk to life in some areas of Scotland.

“People in these affected areas should not travel under any circumstances, including motorists. Yellow and amber weather warnings also remain in place for a number of areas and people should continue to exercise extreme caution and plan any necessary journeys in advance as there is disruption to transport services.

“The Scottish Government is in close contact with local authorities and the emergency services to ensure people in the affected areas receive the latest information, advice and support where needed.”

The Scottish Government said a ministerial meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Room was held earlier on Friday to ensure preparations and appropriate measures are in place.

‘Significant disruption’ on London-Scotland rail line this weekend

16:26 , Tom Batchelor

Train operator London North Eastern Railway has issued a “do not travel” alert to customers as its services will be “significantly disrupted due to severe weather“ until Sunday.

The firm runs trains on the East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland, calling at stations including Leeds, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Network Rail will close the East Coast route north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, from 5pm on Friday.

Passengers are being warned further closures could be imposed elsewhere on the route.

Warrick Dent, LNER safety and operations director, said: “We are encouraging our customers with tickets dated for today, November 26, and this coming weekend to defer their travel arrangements where possible.

“We expect services to be extremely busy throughout the weekend and advise customers to check our website and social channels for the latest information.”

Do not travel ‘under any circumstances’, Police Scotland says

16:06 , Tom Batchelor

Police Scotland have warned people using the roads in areas covered by the red warning – including cyclists, those using public transport and those in cars, vans and lorries – not to travel “under any circumstances”.

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, from Police Scotland’s road policing unit, said: “The high winds being experienced along the coastal areas of the north, east and southern parts of Scotland have led to red weather warnings coming into effect and, as such, any motorist within these affected regions should not travel under any circumstances.

“If you are currently within more inland areas of these regions, then amber and yellow warnings are also in place, and we are asking that you do not journey out unless for essential purposes and, if you are doing so, to be mindful of the challenging conditions you will face.

“A number of local road closures and bridge restrictions may also be implemented during this period of adverse weather and we would advise the public to consult the Transport Scotland and Met Office websites for continuous and updated information.”

North Sea shipping forecast warns of ‘violent storm’, ‘very rough’ sea state

15:36 , Tom Batchelor

The shipping forecast for the North Sea gives an indication of Storm Arwen’s intensity.

The forecast for the ‘Forties’, an area of sea roughly to the east of Aberdeen, gives a gale warning with “southwesterly gale force 8 imminent, veering northeasterly violent storm force 11 later”.

The sea state is described as “rough, becoming very rough or high, then very high for a time in southwest”, with rain and “moderate or poor” visibility.

Stormy seas as Storm Arwen approaches

15:16 , Tom Batchelor

Storm Arwen starting to upset things. Keila alongside sheltering too pic.twitter.com/VjzfEm6TDT

— John A Buchan (@JohnABuchan1) November 26, 2021

Travel warnings issued as weather forecast to cause delays

14:50 , Tom Batchelor

Graeme Day, the Scottish transport minister, has urged people travelling to take the weather into account, and said: “The whole country is going to see blustery conditions, but the Met Office is telling us that eastern parts of Scotland in particular are going to see some difficult weather.”

The RAC has advised drivers to prepare for strong gusts by slowing down and being “very careful” when passing high-sided vehicles or cyclists.

Spokesman Simon Williams said: “In extreme windy conditions, bridges may also be closed and trees may fall so it’s important to allow extra time for journeys.

“With forecasters predicting strong winds together with colder conditions, drivers should take this opportunity to prepare their vehicles for winter by checking oil and coolant levels, ensuring they have enough good quality screenwash that protects down to well below minus 10C, as well as having properly inflated tyres with good tread.”

UK Health Security Agency urges people to check on elderly relatives

14:31 , Tom Batchelor

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has urged people to check on elderly relatives or neighbours as the country braces for Storm Arwen to sweep in.

The agency has issued a cold weather alert, and Agostinho Sousa, a consultant in Public Health Medicine at UKHSA, said: “Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with heart and lung problems, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.

“It’s really important to keep checking on older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or those who have serious illness.

“Make a call, or a socially distanced doorstep visit if they live close by, to remind them to heat their home to at least 18C and to keep up to date with the forecast. It’s also helpful to check they have enough food and drinks and any medicines they need.”

‘Significant disruption’ forecast for London to Scotland rail line

16:16 , Tom Batchelor

Train operator London North Eastern Railway has issued a “do not travel” alert to customers as its services will be “significantly disrupted due to severe weather“ until Sunday.

The firm runs trains on the East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland, calling at stations including Leeds, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Network Rail will close the East Coast route north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, from 5pm on Friday.

Passengers are being warned further closures could be imposed elsewhere on the route.

Warrick Dent, LNER safety and operations director, said: “We are encouraging our customers with tickets dated for today, November 26, and this coming weekend to defer their travel arrangements where possible.

“We expect services to be extremely busy throughout the weekend and advise customers to check our website and social channels for the latest information.”

Temperatures to plummet to below average over weekend

14:16 , Tom Batchelor

It is not just snow, wind and rain that the UK will endure in the coming 24 hours – the Met Office has said temperatures would plummet to below average over the weekend, too.

Will Lang, head of civil contingencies at the Met Office, said: “The UK will see temperatures drop to below average in the coming days, as cold air is drawn in from the north. This is coupled with the strong winds associated with Storm Arwen, which means it will feel especially cold in the wind.

“Areas in the north will see temperatures below freezing overnight, with daytime maximum temperatures only getting into the low single figures.

“It’s important to note that strong wind speeds, in excess of 65mph in exposed locations, will exacerbate the cold temperatures we’ll be seeing over the weekend.”

‘Don’t go to the coast,’ forecaster says

14:01 , Tom Batchelor

Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman, has warned people to stay away from the affected area, saying the forecaster didn’t “issue red warnings lightly”.

The red warning – the first maximum alert to be issued since Storm Dennis in February 2020 – means the impact is likely to be severe.

“I would emphasise the risk for coastal communities. We are talking about wave heights that really are exceptional. I’ve heard sort of nine-10 metre waves out to sea, which is you know, is particularly noteworthy,” said Mr Madge.

“We’re looking at the vulnerability of people like coastal anglers, for example, shore fishermen, people visiting in order to get photos, all of these communities need to take particular care and assess the risk.

“And obviously, don’t go if they feel that there’s any risk to themselves or others by them being there.

“People need to recognise really, that, you know, we don’t issue red warnings lightly, so therefore, when we do we feel that there is a much higher threat of risk.

“We urge people obviously to take action as a result of that and that action in this case is probably don’t go to the coast.”

How Friday night and Saturday morning are forecast to pan out

13:46 , Tom Batchelor

⚠️Yellow weather warning updated ⚠️

Spell of hill and mountain snow combined with strong winds will give blizzard conditions and travel disruption

Friday 1400 – 2359

Latest info 👉 http://http://https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs

Stay #WeatherAware⚠️ pic.twitter.com/I5s0U0Fswt

— Met Office (@metoffice) November 26, 2021

⚠️Yellow weather warning issued ⚠️

Wintry showers may bring some travel disruption across northern Scotland

Saturday 0000 – 1000

Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfS950

Stay #WeatherAware⚠️ pic.twitter.com/C1vxySxzNb

— Met Office (@metoffice) November 26, 2021

Chance of snow in central and southeast England too, Met Office says

13:31 , Tom Batchelor

Snow is also forecast for parts of central and southern England overnight tonight.

Again, here is the Met Office forecast for the area:

Central and southeast England also get a slightly later yellow warning for snow from midnight Friday night through to 10:00 Saturday morning.

Whilst this is expected to be mostly of rain there is a chance that this will turn to snow in places, even to low levels.

There is a chance of 2 to 5 centimetres and perhaps up to 8 centimetres on higher ground.

15cm of snow forecast for high ground of Scotland and northern England

13:16 , Tom Batchelor

As well as high winds and damaging gales, Storm Arwen is also forecast to bring snow to the high ground of Scotland and northern England.

Yellow snow warnings have been issued for late on Friday and early on Saturday.

Here is the Met Office forecast for snow in these areas:

Southern Scotland and northern England have a yellow warning for snow in force from 17:00 to 10:00 Saturday morning, although at lower levels mostly rain is expected.

Within the snow warning areas, between 10 and 15 centimetres of snow is possible over higher ground.

Strong gusts set to hit eastern coasts of Scotland and northern England

13:01 , Tom Batchelor

Here is the Met Office’s visualisation of how strong gusts are forecast to move southwards along the Scottish and north east England coasts.

⚠️⚠️⚠️ Rare Red weather warning issued ⚠️⚠️⚠️#StormArwen will bring a spell of very strong winds to parts of northeast Scotland and northeast England

Friday 1500 – Saturday 0200

Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs

Stay #WeatherAware⚠️ #Redwarning pic.twitter.com/BhX3J6bT85

— Met Office (@metoffice) November 26, 2021

Met Office raises wind warning to amber

12:51 , Tom Batchelor

Met Office forecasters have strengthened their warnings for wind across parts of the country, raising it from a yellow warning to an amber warning.

“There has been an extension to the amber warning to include parts of west and south coastal Wales, and parts of the coastal South West. Both are now covered by amber warnings where they were yellow originally,” Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said.

“Also the fact that we have a warning for potential snow stretching across parts of central and south-east England. We’re not anticipating heavy snowfall in that area tomorrow, but there’s an increasing signal that there is potential for snow to occur in that area. Probably not settling but may present a driving hazard.”

Rare red weather warning and snow alert issued by Met Office

12:45 , Tom Batchelor

The Met Office has issued a rare red alert, warning of danger to life as Storm Arwen is set to bring strong winds and snow.

Forecasters have warned of travel chaos as the first storm of the winter is expected to batter parts of northeast England and Scotland with gusts up to 80-90mph.

A red warning for wind is in place for those areas between 3pm on Friday and 2am on Saturday, when roofs could be blown off and flying debris could cause danger to life.

Here is the full story:

Storm Arwen - latest: People urged to stay indoors as winds hit 78mph and man killed by falling tree
© Provided by The Independent

Rare red weather warning and snow alert issued by Met Office

12:39 , Tom Batchelor

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of Storm Arwen, which is approaching the UK over the North Sea.

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