Sunday, 9 March 2008

Winter's Worst on its way

Hold On! Winter's Worst On Its Way To UK

Forecasters are warning of a potentially fierce and damaging storm heading for the UK. It is expected to hit on Monday, bringing severe gales and heavy rain, and is being billed as possibly the strongest storm of the winter. To blame is a band of exceptionally low pressure which is expected to climax on Monday morning when it swings east across the UK.

Pressure in the centre of the low could fall as low as 950millibars (mb) west of Ireland. The lowest pressure yet recorded over the UK was 925.6mb at Ochtertyre, near Stirling, in Perthshire in 1884. However, the storm is unlikely to be quite that deep when it crosses the UK. Sky weather forecaster Francis Wilson said: "The unusual thing is that these storm force winds of 80 mph will affect the southern, coastal counties of England. "Coupled with heavy rainfall, that could cause serious travel problems."

The high winds are expected to ease during the day but increase again in the evening, with fierce gusts after dark in the west and south of the UK. It could mean a bonus for air travellers, though. Wind speeds five or six miles up in the atmosphere will approach 240mph and anyone flying back from North America at the end of the weekend might do so in record time.

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