Britons have been told not to travel as Storm Pia’s gale-force winds sweep the UK today, with weather warnings in place for several dozen areas. The storm – named by the Danish met office earlier this week – is one of several that have hit the British Isles in 2023 and carries a range of risks.
Met Office weather warnings cover most of the country, reaching from the top of Scotland down through Northern Ireland, northern England and Wales, extending as far south as Cambridge as wind gusts threaten to reach up to 80mph.
Authorities in the worst-hit areas have advised people not to travel and to consider the potential dangers posed by the severe winds this morning.
Dangers will endure throughout the day, causing delays to road, rail and potentially air travel ahead of the busiest travel days of the year.
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Yellow weather alerts issued by the Met Office activated this morning, stating that wind speeds could reach between 65 and 70mph over high ground throughout the warning area.
Elsewhere, over lower-lying areas, gusts could reach between 45 and 55mph, still passing the gale-force threshold of 39mph.
The winds will primarily shutter travel, with police in Northern Ireland warning that fallen trees and debris could cause “potential traffic disruption”.
The severe weather has already caused injuries and accidents on the roads in England, with two cars crushed by trees this morning.
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Derbyshire Police said officers closed several roads after two cars were crushed in the space of half an hour.
The driver of one car suffered minor injuries, and the service said it has received reports of “lots of fallen trees” across the county.
The Scottish TransPenine Express has been forced to cancel some of its services and delay others, warning its customers not to travel due to the weather.
The company has warned people not to travel on some of its services until after 3pm today.
The warning covers services between Manchester, Liverpool, Preston to Carlisle and Edinburgh.
Network Rail has also cancelled some of its services around Scotland, with some “significant” impacts expected.
The firm posted a picture of one of its routes blocked by a tree that had fallen on the tracks.
The severe weather is expected to last until tonight, with the Met Office yellow warning due to expire at 9pm.
Met Office five-day forecast
Wet and windy today, particularly across northern areas where gales or severe gales are likely. Rain and cloud sinking southwards with a mixture of sunny spells and showers to follow. Showers turning wintry over the mountains of Scotland later.
Strongest winds easing although remaining windy throughout tonight. Showers will continue in the north, wintry in places. Rain across the southwest slowly edging northeastwards.
Rain lying northwest to southeast across the UK will slowly spread northeastwards, turning heavy across parts of northwest Scotland. Drier and brighter conditions to follow. Windy for all.
Outlook for Saturday to Monday:
Remaining unsettled in the run up to Christmas with further rain. Generally mild, but turning colder in the north from Sunday with some wintriness possible over the high ground.
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