MOTORISTS face dangerous gusts of up to 70mph today as a gale force storm batters the UK.
The strong winds could even cause power outages along with delays on road and rail networks this morning as commuters face downed trees and falling debris.
Overnight, 79mph was recorded on the Isle of Wight, while Aberporth in Wales recorded 73mph and 67mph winds were seen on the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall.
This morning, the QEII Bridge at the Dartford Crossing has reportedly been closed due to safety concerns around the overhead winds.
And after the overnight gusts, forecasters warned the yellow weather warning would remain in place until 9am today.
Meteorologist Mark Wilson advised motorists to take care, saying: “Be mindful that there could be some tricky conditions on the roads, for example there will be strong winds that could affect transport, like high-sided vehicles crossing bridges, so there could be delays.”
Gales and rain will be back with a vengeance later this week – with further weather warnings in place from midday Friday until Saturday evening at 6pm.
Of Thursday’s winds, the Met Office said: “A period of very strong and gusty winds is likely on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
“Strongest winds will be across South West England and South and West Wales late evening, with gusts of 60 to 70 mph on coasts and 50 to 60 mph inland.
“Elsewhere winds will be strongest after midnight, with gusts of 60 mph on coasts and 50 mph inland before easing during Thursday morning.”
Along with the strong winds, rain and cloud will also affect many parts in the morning until sunny spells break out in the afternoon.
In the latest forecast from Meteogroup, experts said of Thursday’s weather: “It will be largely cloudy in the morning with outbreaks of rain and hill snow in the north-east.
“It will be dry with sunny spells in the south and west.
“There will be sunny spells and showers for many during the afternoon, most of which will affect western areas. Brisk south-westerly winds.”
For tonight, the forecast added: “In the evening, it will be clear in eastern parts of England and Scotland.
“Elsewhere, there will be a lot of cloud with outbreaks of rain in the west.
“Through the night, rain will spread eastwards to affect all parts by dawn, often heavy in the west.
“Snow is possible for northern hills. Strong winds.”
On Friday, a band of heavy rain will sweep eastwards across the country, accompanied by strong south-westerly winds
The stormy weather peaks on Friday – bringing heavy floods, forceful winds and creating a danger to life.
Meteogroup added: “On Friday, a band of heavy rain will sweep eastwards across the country, accompanied by strong south-westerly winds.”
The storm “will be at its peak as wind speeds reach 70mph” in the most exposed parts of the west, a forecaster told The Sun Online.
VALENTINE’S DAY FREEZE
The unsettled weather over the next few days will come ahead of plunging temperatures next week.
February 14 could be the coldest weather for NINE years as icy conditions return.
Forecaster Simon Partridge said: “We’ve got a lot more winter to get through.
“Most forecast models agree temperatures will dip again from around February 14 onwards.”
The wintry conditions are expected to continue into the half-term break from February 18.
Stormy weather represented in purple will batter into Britain from Friday[/caption]
A pedestrian endures windy weather in central London this week. Wind is due to affect many areas across the UK from Thursday to Saturday[/caption]
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