Danger to life warning as 80mph Storm Freya rolls in

Danger to life warning as 80mph Storm Freya rolls in with lashing rain set to sweep across the country bringing with it travel chaos and flying debris

  • Met Office issued ‘danger to life’ warning as Storm Freya moves towards Britain with winds of up to 80mph
  • A yellow weather warning issued by the Met Office will be in effect from 3pm on Sunday to 6am on Monday 
  • It warns of flying debris, damage to buildings and power disruption with potential to affect other services 
  • Gusts between 55 and 65mph can be expected, with wind speeds reaching up to 80mph in coastal areas 
  • And on Monday snow could fall in parts of North-East England and South-East Scotland as temperatures drop

The Met Office issued a ‘danger to life’ warning last night as Storm Freya barrelled towards Britain.

Fierce winds of up to 80mph and lashing rain will sweep across the country this afternoon, bringing with it the likelihood of travel chaos and flying debris.

Just days after Britain enjoyed its warmest ever February temperatures and firefighters battled moorland blazes, forecasters warned of towering waves of up to 50ft along the Cornish coast and blizzards in the Peak District and Pennines.

Temperatures are predicted to plummet back to single digits, with a low of minus 1C forecast for remote parts of Northumberland.

Met Office forecaster Emma Smith said: ‘Freya is bringing a real change after the warmest February on record.

‘Be prepared for problems with travel including delayed trains, planes and road journeys, and the risk of coastal and river flooding in the South West.

‘Gusts of up to 80mph are expected, with the strongest winds moving from the South West on Sunday to the North on Monday. There will also be 50mph to 60mph gusts on South East coasts.

‘Snow is a risk early on Monday in the Peak District, Pennines and hills in Wales and southern Scotland.’

Two women from the Brighton Swimming Club brave the cold and powerful waves of the sea to go for a swim in the sea at Brighton and Hove

Women sail in a floating electric hot tub on a waterway near the River Thames and Canary Wharf, in London on Saturday afternoon

Brian Gaze, a forecaster with The Weather Outlook, said: ‘We’ve been spoilt by record winter heat, but now it’s payback time.’

RAC spokesman Simon Williams warned motorists to take care due to the possibility of fallen trees and branches on roads.

Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, said: ‘If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time.

‘In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.’  

The ferocious weather will bring very strong winds up from the south west of England, major travel disruption and possibly dangerous conditions when it hits late on Sunday and lasting until early Monday morning.

A yellow weather warning has been issued for large swathes of the country, including much of South-West England, The Midlands and North-East England and will be in effect from 3pm on Sunday to 6am on Monday.

Storm Freya will bring very strong winds, major travel disruption and possibly dangerous conditions when it hits late on Sunday. The Met Office is warning of flying debris, damage to buildings and trees and possible power disruption with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage


Met Office graphics show the path of Storm Freya as it makes its way towards the United Kingdom. It’s set to hit western parts of the country first, before bringing fierce winds to the Midlands and North-East England. Some snow could also fall on Monday as temperatures drop to single digits 


A yellow weather warning has been issued for large swathes of the country, including much of South-West England, Wales, The Midlands and North-East England and will be in effect from 3pm on Sunday to 6am on Monday

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    It warns of flying debris, damage to buildings and trees and possible power disruption with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage. Gusts between 55 and 65mph can be expected, with wind speeds reaching up to 80mph in coastal areas.

    And after the fierce winds subside, snow could fall in parts of North-East England and South-East Scotland as temperatures dip to single digits again.


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    We could see lows of -1C in Rochester, Northumberland as the cold weather turns any precipitation in the atmosphere to snow. And temperatures across most of the country will be back to single digits again for most of the week. 

    Yesterday Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Jason Kelly, said: ‘Storm Freya undergoes rapid cyclogenesis late Saturday and early Sunday as it moves across the eastern Atlantic Ocean towards the British Isles, this means the area of low pressure will deepen quickly as it moves towards us.

    ‘This is a developing situation and the track of Freya’s strongest winds could change over the next few days, so we are advising people to keep an eye on the latest forecast and warnings from the Met Office.’

    Describing the potential impacts of Storm Freya, Jason said: ‘Where winds are strongest we can expect significant disruption to travel, with damage to buildings and trees likely. It’ll be especially dangerous near coastal areas due to the wind whipping up large waves.’ 

    Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: ‘What we have got is a storm developing quite rapidly to the south and west of the UK.

    ‘It will be developing as it goes across the UK and it will be bringing very strong winds.’

    He added that gusts of 55 to 65mph are ‘likely quite widely within the warning area and there is the potential for isolated gusts to reach 70 and 80mph’.

    After a period of record-breaking warm temperatures, rains covered parts of the United Kingdom on Thursday in weather more typical of this time of year. A woman is seen walking through the rain in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter yesterday afternoon

    The ferocious weather will bring very strong winds, major travel disruption and possibly dangerous conditions when it hits late on Sunday and lasting until early on Monday morning. The weekend will also see the return of rain to parts of the United Kingdom, and could even see snow in North-East England and South-East Scotland 

    Wind speeds will be highest in Devon, Cornwall, Wales and north-west England, Mr Madge said.

    He added: ‘On Sunday there will be some strong winds developing by midday for parts of the South West.’

    The storm could also see injuries and danger to life from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties. 

    It comes just days after wildfires broke out across the country on Tuesday after the record-breaking 70F (21C) hottest winter day ever created arid conditions and left fields parched.

    Firefighters battled blazes in East Sussex, Edinburgh, Saddleworth Moor, in Greater Manchester, and North Wales, as the unprecedented hot February weather continued. 

    Extraordinary pictures from the scene show how a massive wall of flames turned the night sky orange with initial reports saying the blaze was about the size of one-and-a-half football pitches as five fire engines attended the scene.

    A wildfire at Saddleworth Moor in the Peak District showing an apocalyptic scene at the crossroads. Arid conditions caused wildfires to spring up all over the country on Tuesday

    A huge fire at Saddleworth Moor turned the sky orange and a number of motorists near the blaze reported being able to feel the heat through their windscreens as temperatures soared on Tuesday

    Plenty of people enjoyed the hot weather with a picnic while sitting in Green Park in central London on Tuesday

    Park goers enjoy the warm winter weather at St James’s Park in London on Tuesday, the hottest winter day on record

    Elsewhere on Tuesday the Moroccan air plume left beaches and parks surprisingly busy for February as sunseekers took full advantage of the winter respite and was so warm even pollinating bees were taking advantage of the heat wave. 

    Describing the sudden change in temperature, a Met Office spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘During the winter we usually experience windier and colder weather from the west.

    ‘But recently we have been experiencing a period of high pressure in the United Kingdom which has acted as a sort of barrier against this colder weather. And so we’ve seen above-average temperatures. 

    ‘That has now moved on, and the weather is returning to normal. We’ll have more wintry temperatures next week.’ 

    Storm Freya is the sixth named storm of the 2018/2019 calendar, and comes after Erik in February and Deirdre in December. Erik left three dead as it wreaked havoc on large parts of the United Kingdom, ripping trees from the ground and causing considerable travel disruption.   

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