Storm Isha: UK flight chaos as gusts top 144kph

Airports across the UK reported delays and cancellations on Sunday due to the storm

Boscombe beach in Dorset on January 21. PA
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Storm Isha caused widespread flight disruption across the country on Sunday, with some airports warning of travel problems into Monday.

A flight travelling from Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt to Glasgow Airport declared an emergency due to the storm.

A representative for Glasgow Airport said the TUI flight was “diverted to Manchester due to current weather conditions”.

“This is happening across many UK airports due to Storm Isha," they added.

It came as one flight from Manchester to Dublin was diverted more than 800 kilometres away to Paris on Sunday, and another Manchester to Dublin flight eventually landed in Liverpool after spending more than three hours in the air and making multiple attempts to reach the Irish capital.

By Monday much of the disruption to flight schedules had abated.

A spokesman for London's Gatwick Airport said most flights were running as normal Monday but there may be delays to some flights due to yesterday’s weather.

"We would advise passengers to check with their airline," he added.

Flights from London's Heathrow Airport were delayed by an average of 40 minutes on Sunday, with 68 per cent of its scheduled departures taking off later than scheduled and 10 per cent cancelled.

Gatwick Airport reported an average delay of 38 minutes, with 56 per cent of its departures delayed and 3 per cent cancelled.

Other airports, including Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool, experienced similar disruption due to the storm's arrival in the UK.

Airlines cancelled 148 flights in and out of Dublin airport on Sunday, it said in a post on social media platform X.

Dublin Airport advised people booked to travel on Monday to check directly with their airline over the status of their flight.

In Europe, Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport cancelled 130 flights scheduled for Monday as a preventive measure because of strong winds expected when Storm Isha reaches the Netherlands, it said on Sunday.

East Midlands Railway said it expected "significant disruption" on Sunday and Monday, with delays to services probable, while police in Scotland advised people to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.

Wind speeds are expected to reach 80kph, with the potential to hit 120kph. Energy companies warned of possible power cuts should infrastructure be damaged.

Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria was closed on Sunday evening due to the storm.

Wet weather across the UK - in pictures

Storm Isha may bring a tornado to parts of the UK overnight, with warnings that wind may endanger lives ahead of 145kph gusts, forecasters warn.

The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (Torro) is watching for a tornado after a warning was issued for Northern Ireland, parts of Scotland and northern England.

It means a “strong tornado” is possible in those regions.

The Met Office issued weather warnings across the country for Sunday, including two amber wind alerts.

Warnings of heavy rain, strong wind and possible flooding have also been issued by the forecaster as Storm Isha approaches from the Atlantic.

Another warning will come into force across parts of Sussex and Kent on Monday morning.

The Met Office said there was a risk to life in coastal areas from large waves and debris being blown onshore, and possible damage to buildings.

Another as yet unnamed storm system is close behind Isha, which could hit parts of the UK later in the week.

Cold Arctic air has been pushing south into North America, making the jet stream more active, which rapidly moves stormy weather eastward across the Atlantic, the Met Office said.

Updated: January 22, 2024, 7:45 AM