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Two People Die As Storm Batters The Country

Two People Die As Storm Batters The Country

Two People Die As Storm Batters The Country. A man and a woman have died as rain and winds of up to 87mph sweep the country disrupting the Christmas getaway and leaving more than 6,000 without power.

A man died in Cumbria after falling into the River Rothay at Ambleside triggering a large rescue search involving the police, RAF, Coastguard, and mountain rescue teams. In a separate incident, a woman died after falling into a river at Gwynedd in North Wales.

A motorist died on Sunday at Bolventor, in Cornwall after a three-car accident during a hail storm.

In Horsham, West Sussex, two children were treated for minor injuries after being hit by branches from a falling tree.

Flood warnings were in place across the whole country as it was hit by relentless rain falling on already saturated ground and winds whipping to 70-80mph.

Around 3,000 homes are without power in Cornwall and a further 2,000 in other parts of the South West after high winds brought down power lines, according to Western Power Distribution. According to Southern Electricity, there are 1,100 without power in Berkshire.

The spokesman for the Met Office said a new wind speed high had been recorded at Capel Curig in Conwy, North Wales, with gusts blowing at 87mph.

Not far behind was Berry Head in Torbay, Devon, with gusts of 76mph.

The Dartford QE2 bridge is closed until 4am tomorrow morning, the M48 Severn Bridge is closed to high-sided vehicles and the Sheppey Crossing in Kent has also been closed until Tuesday morning.

An Essex police spokesman said: “The tunnels will remain open to help maintain the flow of traffic, but congestion is expected so drivers are advised to seek alternative routes if possible or avoid the Thurrock and Dartford areas of Essex and Kent.”

A roof blew off a property in Hatherleigh, Devon

A roof blew off a property in Hatherleigh, Devon

In London, Royal Parks officials closed Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park, Bushy Park, St James’s Park and Green Park due to the high winds expected overnight on Monday.

The Met Office has issued more than 200 amber “be prepared” warnings across the country. There are 56 “immediate action required” flood warnings in place and one severe warning – meaning lives are at risk – at the Sea Life Centre in the area of Lodmoor, Weymouth.

Sky News’ weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said: “There will be heavy downpours bringing 20-40mm of rainfall quite widely and over 60mm likely across parts of the high ground.”

“As the rain is falling on already saturated ground that could cause both surface water and river flooding in these areas.”

The stormy weather is expected to move to northern areas for Christmas Eve but Christmas Day looks set for calmer weather, however, there are warnings the strong winds and driving rain will return on Friday.

But it is the trains that are expected to bear the brunt of the nasty weather and at least 21 train companies said there were changes to timetables and cancelled services.

An emergency go-slow limit of 50mph is in force on many routes.

Train bosses say “hundreds of engineers” will be on call over the next two days to deal with any blocked tracks or technical problems.

Passengers are being urged to check the latest information before setting out.

Network Rail Managing Director Robin Gisby said: Robin Gisby, managing director of operational services for Network Rail, said the next couple of days would be a challenge.

The A82 in Scotland, where there is an ice alert

The A82 in Scotland, where there is an ice alert

He said: “Our fundamental concern over the next 48 hours is to get everyone where they want to be for Christmas.”

“It won’t be an easy task given the forecast conditions and disruption is likely – but I want to be very clear that our priority is running as many trains as we can safely, rather than worrying about hitting the timetable bang on.”

Many companies have removed limits on day tickets to deter people from travelling at the height of the bad weather.

Motorists were urged to be take special care on the roads and check the flood updates ahead of their journey, as the AA reported it was dealing with 1,100 breakdowns every hour.

The Environment Agency and the AA strongly advised not entering flood water that is moving or more than 10cm deep.

David Jordan, Director of Operations at the Environment Agency, said: “Tragically people die because they’ve taken risks and attempted to drive through flood water just to save a few minutes.”

“Flood water is dangerous. If there is widespread flooding in your area then don’t travel and if a road is closed then turn around and make a detour.”

The Highways Agency said high-sided vehicles and motorcyclists should be especially careful in the high winds and and put out a list of potentially treacherous routes.

The RAC predicted 13 million people would take to the roads from December 24 to 26.

There were cancellations and delays at both Gatwick and Heathrow airports, while the Port of Dover was closed at 9pm becuse of the adverse weather conditions.

Visitor attractions are also playing it safe, with the popular Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park staying shut on Monday as well as Kew Gardens’ Christmas attraction.

Festive revellers will get a brief respite from the unsettled weather on Christmas Day and Boxing Day but the stormy conditions are due to return on Friday.

In Brighton, the council announced that the traditional Christmas Day dip would be cancelled because of the severe weather conditions.

The swim, which was also stopped last year because of dangerous weather conditions, has been running since 1860 and usually attracts scores of participants.

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Christmas weather in Britain to be wet and windy

Christmas weather in Britain to be wet and windy

Showers and blustery gales are on the cards for most of the country as Britons sit down to their Christmas dinner next week.

A European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model shows very low pressure over the UK on December 25.

Forecasters remain cautious but admit the trends suggest a stormy festive holiday.

Sky News weather producer Joanna Robinson said: “Christmas Day is still a long way off meteorologically speaking, but computer models are hinting that the unsettled theme will continue.”

“Some computer models show a deep area of low pressure moving in from the Atlantic on Christmas Day, bringing very wet and windy conditions.”

“There’s still time for that to change though, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the forecast this week.”

“The unsettled conditions will mean that temperatures will remain around or above average, therefore snow is looking very unlikely at this point.”

MeteoGroup's tweeted map shows low pressure and fairly mild temperatures

MeteoGroup’s map shows low pressure and fairly mild temperatures

Forecasters MeteoGroup tweeted maps indicating low pressure and fairly mild temperatures for the time of year, while the ECMWF map was put out by MetDesk.

Michael Dukes, MetDesk Director of Forecasting said: “It looks very much like it won’t be a white Christmas for most of us, with the possible exception of northern hills and mountains.”

“It’s still a little too far off for much in the way of detail, but current indications are that the Christmas period will very unsettled and often wet/stormy with the risk of high winds as our weather continues to sweep in from the Atlantic.”

“Temperatures will be mostly above average for the time of year, but it may be cold enough at times for some wet snow over northern hills and mountains.”

ECMWF's model for December 25

ECMWF’s model for December 25

“We are watching that risk of high winds with interest, but we won’t be sure if it’s actually going to happen or how bad it will be until five or six days out.”

Heavy rain in the days before Christmas last year caused severe flooding in some areas.

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UK Weather: Britain is hit by worst floods in 60 years

UK Weather: Britain is hit by worst floods in 60 years

A powerful Atlantic storm has killed two people, caused travel chaos and threatened the east coast of England with the worst flooding seen in 60 years.

Emergency services launched rescue operations as hurricane-force winds moved south from Scotland, some of which topped 142mph in mountainous areas of Aberdeenshire and Inverness-shire.

One man was killed when he was struck by a falling tree in a park in Retford, Nottinghamshire, and a lorry driver died when the HGV he was driving was blown on top of two cars on the A801 near Bathgate, West Lothian. Four others were injured in the accident.

A property has fallen into the sea due to the cliff collapsing in Hemsby

A property has fallen into the sea due to the cliff collapsing in Hemsby

Across the country more than 100,000 properties were left without electricity as gales sent trees crashing into power lines.

Parts of Newcastle city centre flooded after the River Tyne burst its banks, and the Environment Agency (EA) issued a number of severe flood warnings – meaning rising waters were expected to put lives in danger – for eastern coastal areas.

The River Tyne has burst its banks in Newcastle

The River Tyne has burst its banks in Newcastle

Thousands of homes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent were evacuated ahead of a predicted storm surge experts feared could be higher than those during the devastating floods of 1953 – which battered the east coast of England and claimed the lives of hundreds of people.

Defences built since then – including the Thames and Hull barriers – mean that many parts of the country are much better protected, he said.

However, some coastal flood defences could be “overtopped” by the combined effect of high tides, high winds and a large tidal surge.

In Norfolk, 9,000 homes were evacuated, and a small number of soldiers brought in to help the flood defence effort.

The coastguard checks cars in a flooded car wash from Great Yarmouth

The coastguard checks cars in a flooded car wash from Great Yarmouth

Allan Urquhart, who lives on the seafront at Blakeney, brought a rowing boat to the King’s Arm pub to collect a friend.

“I’m going to row back to the house and we’ll stay upstairs tonight,” he said.

“We’ve put sandbags in place so hopefully we’ll be ok, I’m as confident as I can be.”

“This is the worst flooding I’ve seen so it could be a difficult night for lots of people.”

A further 1,000 properties were to be evacuated in affected areas in Suffolk and some residents in Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, were urged to leave their homes.

Local officials set up emergency accommodation facilities and handing out sandbags to help people protect their properties, police said.

Police in Humberside also declared an emergency situation as they prepared for coastal surges.

Residents in Rhyl, North Wales, have been ferried to safety from flooded homes by lifeboats as the storm battered the coast and flooded dozens of homes.

Huge wave on the seafront in Rhyl

Huge wave on the seafront in Rhyl

A school in the town also had to be evacuated because of fast-flowing water.

Tidal floods were also expected in Germany and Scandinavia, together with freezing high winds from Greenland.

Around 1,400 homes in Northern Ireland were left without power, while Scottish Hydro Electric said more than 80,000 properties across the north of Scotland suffered blackouts with the worst affected areas the Highlands, Tayside and Argyll.

Power has since been restored to around 33,000 homes.

The adverse weather has also caused chaos to the transport network.

A bus in New Brighton, Merseyside

A bus in New Brighton, Merseyside

 

Rail services for Scotland and parts of the north of England were suspended on Thursday morning.

Trains were halted at their nearest stations and passengers told to disembark after Network Rail said debris on lines and damage to equipment meant it was not safe to operate any services.

A number of flights have also been disrupted by the bad weather. And closures, fallen trees, minor accidents and incidents of flash flooding are affecting the road network in many parts of the UK.

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Weather: End Of Freezing Spell Finally In Sight

Weather: End Of Freezing Spell Finally In Sight

  • Posted: Apr 03, 2013
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As figures show that March was the second coldest on record, spring could be just around the corner.

The cold weather could finally be about to end after the second coldest March since records began in 1910.

On average, March 2013 was 2.2C (36F) – just 0.3C above the 1.9C (35F) seen in March 1962, according to the Met Office.

Last month was even colder than either December, January or February.

Sky Weather Producer Jo Robinson said that has not happened since 1975, when the following summer turned out to be a good one.

She said: “After such a cold spell, there’s finally increasing confidence that spring warmth is just around the corner.

“The cold theme will continue this week, with temperatures remaining below average, and the wind will pick up again, making it feel bitterly cold.

“But as the jet stream moves north, it will bring milder conditions to the UK and the Republic of Ireland by next week.”

The break in the unseasonal weather should see temperatures return to near normal – around 10-12C – although there will be spells of wind and rain.

Computer models indicate the middle of April could bring more settled spells of warmer spring weather, although that could change.

If forecasts prove accurate, next week will see temperatures climb to the mid-teens.

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Spring Nowhere In Sight!

Spring Nowhere In Sight!

  • Posted: Mar 23, 2013
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Expect travel misery in the north as snow and blizzards hit, while other parts of the UK are warned of disruption to come.

Snow has covered the north of the UK overnight as persistently cold weather keeps an unusual grip on March.

Spring seems to hide away from us. It is expected to continue to be cold for the next couple of days the whole country should be braced for further snow storms and cold wet weather throughout the week – and beyond

Heavy snow fell on Tuesday evening, leaving up to 10cm across lowlands and 25cm on higher ground – has fallen across Scotland.

The Met Office has issued amber alerts for many parts of Scotland, while gale force winds are also forecast.

Driving conditions have been made difficult and more than 100 schools have closed. Aberdeenshire and the Borders are among the worst hit areas.

Weather Presenter Isobel Lang warned people to prepare for disruption on traveling across Britain.

She said: “Heavy snow and strong winds will bring travel disruption today with the worst of the conditions likely to be across central and eastern Scotland, northeast England and Northern Ireland.

“Bitter east winds will blow the snow around causing drifting and blizzard conditions.”

The outlook for the rest of the UK also looks typically unseasonal.

Lang said: “Heavy showers in other parts of Britain could also bring hail, sleet or snow, especially later today and tonight.”

Meanwhile, the whole country should be braced for further snow storms and cold wet weather throughout the week – and beyond

“Concerns increase again, though, later in the week as wet and windy weather, preceded by snow, moves in across the southwest and spreads north across the country.

“Although rainfall totals may be enough to cause some problems across the south and southwest, it is likely to be snow that is most disruptive, especially across central and northern parts,” Lang said.

The latest snowy spell continues a cold month across the UK which has brought an unwelcome delay to springtime weather.

Forecasters said that while snow was not uncommon in March and it is quite unusual to have low temperatures at this time.

It is too early to predict if it will be a white Easter or not, but Lang warned that the run-up looked “unsettled and unspring-like”.

 Update at 18:50

This Saturday evening. The weather continues to cause havoc in many parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland latest News suggest that two people have died.

A young man died in a “very tragic incident” after trying to get home in the snow in Burnley after a night out with friends.

The body was found covered in a deep snow by a farmer at 1.30pm but emergency services struggled to get to the area because of the weather conditions.

Chief Inspector Derry Crorken, of Burnley Police, said: “Early indications suggest that it appears to be a very tragic incident where a young man has been out with friends and has become caught up in the weather last night on his journey home.

“The snow and ice has been severe in the area with many roads not passable. I would urge people to take precautions and only go out if it is necessary and if you do go out then make sure friends and family know where you are and that you have suitable clothing on and your phone with you.”

His death is the second tragedy in the recent spell of bad weather. On Friday police in Looe, Cornwall, found a body in a block of flats that had been flattened by a landslide thought to have been triggered by torrential rain.

 
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Weather Britain Set For Hottest Day Of 2012

Weather Britain Set For Hottest Day Of 2012

Today is likely to be the hottest day this year, but it will be getting cooler and the outlook for the Olympics is far from ideal.

Britons are expected to soak up the hottest weather of the year so far today – but forecasters are warning that the drifting ‘jet stream’ will bring cooler conditions next week.

The mercury may reach as high as 30C (86F) in London, with temperatures in the high 20s in other parts of the country.

That will beat the previous high of 29.3C (84.7F) set in Achnagart, in Scotland, on May 25.

But Sky’s Isobel Lang said it would be cooler and breezier around the coasts, and temperatures would drop again toward the end of the week.

The risk of thunderstorms on Friday may put a dampener on the Olympics opening ceremony in east London.

Lang said Tuesday’s 30C high would be several degrees short of the all-time July record of 36.5C (97.7F), which was recorded in Wisley, Surrey, in 2006.

“The heat will last all week across the south, although the risk of thunderstorms is set to increase during Friday threatening the opening ceremony,” she said.

British summertime

People around the country are soaking up the sun – while they can

“During the first weekend of Olympic events it is going to feel much cooler with temperatures nearer 21C (69.8F) on Saturday with sunny spells and a northwesterly breeze.

“Sunday could be a little cooler still with the chance of a few showers.

“The jet stream has returned to its more ‘usual’ summer position to the northwest of the British Isles this week with high pressure bringing the sunshine and heat across the south.

“However, it does look as though it will meander southwards again during the coming week bringing cooler and more changeable conditions for the first week of the Games.

“Some drier, sunnier spells are still likely and it will be worth keeping an eye on the latest forecasts for those planning on watching the events.”

The current hot spell comes after weeks of seemingly relentless rain in some parts of the UK.

The wettest April to June period on record led to widespread flooding, disruption and deaths.

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Avalanche: Two More British Victims Named

Avalanche: Two More British Victims Named

 The Foreign Office names two more Britons who died in an avalanche as survivors talk of the tragedy ahead of a memorial service.

 

Two more Britons killed in an avalanche in the French Alps have been named by the Foreign Office.

John Taylor and Steve Barber were from the village of Upper Poppleton, York, and were raising money for nearby St Leonard’s Hospice in exchange to  reach the summit of Mont Blanc.
Stephen Barber and John Taylor

UK Victims Of Avalanche Are Named

“We are devastated to hear of Steve’s death and the deaths of John Taylor and Roger Payne, as well as the other victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends today,” she told Sky News.

“As far as we are aware, he had no direct link with the hospice, so we were very pleased to hear that he recognised the important part the hospice plays in York and the surrounding area.”

Roger Payne,  was a mountain guide and was the third Briton, among the country’s most accomplished climbers.

Mr Payne, was one of the very best mountain guides declaired his fellow enthusiasts, who was well known across many branches in the whole world.

Roger Payne

Roger Payne was a well-known climbing guide

 Two survivors described how they were trapped by a wave of snow that hit them without a sound and how the snow came down  and hit them with tremendous force. He said, “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck and did ten rounds (of boxing). But they scanned me all over and I’m ok.”

Another survivor, 63-year-old guide Daniel Rossetto, described being tossed and trapped by the advancing snow.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said a church service would be held in Chamonix on Saturday afternoon in memory of the dead.

Relatives of the nine victims have already arrived in the resort to pay their respects to their victims.

Town hall security official Jean-Louis Verdier said the families had been taken to the hospital to see the bodies.

“We’re trying to help them understand as best as possible why their loved ones died, so that they can mourn. There was no technical error,” he said.

Till now, the avalanche took the lives two Spanish climbers, three Germans and one Swiss, as well as the three Britons, according to the Prefecture de la Haute-Savoie.

The victims were killed as they traversed Mont Maudit – translated as Cursed Mountain – in the Mont Blanc range near Chamonix. It is the massif’s third-highest peak.

At around 5.20am, French authorities received reports that a “slab” avalanche had hit several groups of mountaineers who were roped together on the northern face of Mont Maudit at 4,000 metre.

French rescue workers

French rescue workers arrive to join the search

Authorities said some climbers had crossed the path of the avalanche before it hit and others were able to turn back.

Describing the sequence of events, it said a block of ice 40cm thick broke off and slid down the slope, creating a mass of snow that was two metres deep and 100 metres long.

Two other Britons were reported missing following the avalanche, but were confirmed safe and well after presenting themselves to police in Chamonix on Thursday evening.

Mr Compton and his mate were reported missing along with two Spanish climbers following the tragedy.

He later said that he was half an hour behind the group caught up in the avalanche and had turned back to Chamonix after seeing the aftermath.

The 41-year-old said he did not realise there was a search party out for him or the scale of what had happened until he saw the news.

Anyone concerned about friends or family following the avalanche can call the Foreign Office on +33 (0)1 44 51 31 00 or 0207 008 1500 in the UK.

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