Storm Gareth to bring -8C chill, snow and 70mph gales to Britain

Wintry storms left a trail of destruction across the country ­– with worse to come as Storm Gareth lands on Friday.

Winds of nearly 70mph whipped up 12ft waves, felled trees and toppled ­scaffolding as early signs of spring were brought to a dramatic halt.

The Met Office has issued two yellow weather warnings for wind, one covering much of Northern Ireland, the other much of England from midnight on Wednesday.

During the warning periods there could be gusts of 60mph-70mph in Northern Ireland, with 50mph-55mph across England and 60mph-65mph in coastal areas.

A band of heavy rain will push south-eastwards, followed by heavy showers tomorrow and Wednesday.

Weathermen were set to declare tomorrow’s resurgence of turbulent wintry weather Storm Gareth.

Brian Gaze of Weather Outlook said: “Storm Gareth risks being named as three storms hit in a week, with potential for gusts over 70mph.

“Forecast models show -8C is possible in Scotland on Monday morning, with up to 30cm of snow accumulating this week on Scottish mountains.”

It comes after an early burst of spring last month took temperatures over 20C, the hottest winter weather on record.

Mr Gaze added: “It’s a mad March after flaming February’s record heat, with winter switching to spring this year.”

On Sunday, fisherman was thrown overboard in rough seas off Salcombe, Devon.

He was rescued by helicopter after an hour in the water and taken to hospital with hypothermia. Winds up to 67mph were recorded at Berry Head near Brixham.

Haldon Forest near Exeter was closed to the public after trees were toppled.

Fallen trees blocked roads across the area and flood alerts were issued along the whole of the north Cornwall coast.

A man was badly hurt by a sign ripped off a building by the wind in Gorleston, Norfolk.

Hundreds of homes in King’s Lynn were blacked out and the Queen’s Sandringham estate was also hit by a power cut as trees fell across cables.

A serious collision in snowy conditions shut the Woodhead Pass across the Pennines between Manchester and South Yorkshire.

Scaffolding was brought down in Kensington, West London, near the home of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood.

And a tree fell on a car parked outside a house in Richmond, South West London. Strong winds closed the Queen Elizabeth II bridge on the Thames at Dartford, Kent.

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