Storm Kathleen prompts weather warnings across the UK

Met Office warns strong gusts could cause power cuts and damage buildings

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The aftermath of Storm Kathleen is set to bring heavy rain and strong winds to parts of southern England, western Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland over the next few days.

Six separate yellow weather warnings have been put in place by the Met Office to run from Monday to Wednesday morning.

Winds in the south-west of England, including Cornwall and parts of Devon, could reach speeds of up to 96-104kph along some stretches of the coast.

The forecaster warned the strong gusts, scheduled to last until 6am on Tuesday, had a “small chance” of causing power cuts and damaging buildings.

A yellow weather warning for England’s southern coast, including Southampton and Brighton, says winds are expected to reach 72-88kph, peaking at 104kph in some areas before easing off from 9am on Tuesday.

Another yellow weather warning for Wales’s west coast has been issued between 1am and 3pm on Tuesday, when “a spell of strong winds” will affect the region, with gusts reaching up to 104kph overnight.

In Scotland, 20-40mm of rainfall is expected in some areas between 1am and 6pm on Tuesday, while a few could see as much as 50-60mm.

Affected areas include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Aberdeen.

Further rainfall is forecast in western Scotland between 9am and 6pm on Wednesday and may cause flooding, with 15-25mm of rain expected to fall in most places and 40-50mm forecast on high ground.

Between 10pm on Monday and 6am on Tuesday, eastern parts of Northern Ireland are forecast to experience heavy rainfall of between 25-30mm.

The weather service warned rain and wind could cause disruption to rail and road travel across the country, as driving conditions worsen because of slippery road surfaces and limited visibility.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said that while these levels of rainfall would not be a “huge cause for concern” on their own, they will fall on to “already saturated ground”, which increases the risk of flooding.

Provisional statistics showed that England saw a record amount of rainfall in the 18 months to March. Mr Partridge said the past three months in particular had made for a “very wet start to the year”.

The Environment Agency currently has 213 flood alerts and 100 flood warnings in place in England, as of Monday evening.

“We’ll continue with very unsettled weather as we head into spring, which is usually when we start to see things settle down a little bit more,” Mr Partridge added.

“We’re continuing with one area of low pressure after another, which is mainly down to the fact that the jet stream is a bit further south than it would normally be at this time of year.”

He said it would be a “blustery day” in England on Tuesday but there would not be “huge totals of rain”.

“In many ways, the threshold for rainfall warnings is lower than it would be ordinarily just because the groundwater levels are so high at the moment,” he added.

The second half of the week should be a “bit drier” with warm temperatures in the south of the UK, before returning to normal over the weekend, he added.

“It’s actually quite warm conditions for the time of year – we could see 19°C or 20°C across eastern and southeastern parts of the UK come Thursday and Friday,” he said.

“But the north will always stay quite unsettled.”

Updated: April 08, 2024, 10:51 PM