All UK to be hit by rain and gusts of up to 80mph

A new storm is set to hit the UK later with gusts of wind of up to 80mph (128km/h) and a risk to life.

Storm Isha has prompted amber weather warnings for wind in much of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland from 18:00 GMT. Yellow rain warnings are also in place in most areas.

Isha is the ninth named storm to hit the UK since September.

The Met Office said it was “relatively rare” for the whole of the country to be affected by storm warnings.

The storm’s strongest winds are expected on Sunday night and into Monday morning, when three amber warnings from the Met Office come into effect.

The first is for parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, northern England and south-west England, in force from 18:00 on Sunday to 09:00 on Monday.

Three hours later, a separate amber wind warning begins, covering more of Scotland. It also expires on Monday morning.

A third, for parts of Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex starts at midnight on Monday, ending at 09:00.

There is a good chance of power cuts, which could affect mobile phone signal in affected areas, while roads and bridges are likely to be shut. Rail and bus services could face delays and cancellations.

It added there was a risk to life in coastal areas from large waves and debris being blown inland.

Met Office forecaster Ellie Glaisyer said: “It’s a very widespread storm and it’s going to be affecting everybody. Heavy rain will affect everybody, those strong winds will affect everybody. That’s the main difference to previous storms we have seen.”

Separate yellow weather warnings for rain and wind have also been issued.

Warnings for rain in parts of northern England and parts of Wales began at midnight and last until 06:00 on Monday, and a warning for rain in parts of Scotland runs from 15:00 to midnight.

And there is a warning for wind across all four UK nations from 12:00 on Sunday until 12:00 on Monday.

East Midlands Railway said it expected “significant disruption” on Sunday and Monday, including delays and alterations to services, while Police Scotland advised people to avoid unnecessary travel.

A spokesperson for Energy Networks Association, which represents Britain’s energy network operators, said on Friday: “An amber warning brings an increased risk of damage to homes and vital infrastructure.

“Energy network operators are preparing to deal with any damage quickly and safely.”

The Met Office has said heavy rain could lead to flooding this week. In England, the Environment Agency has issued eight flood warnings, where flooding is expected, and 52 flood alerts, where flooding is possible, as of Saturday evening.

After days of freezing temperatures and snow in some parts of the UK, higher temperatures are expected by the end of the weekend – but the Met Office has warned it may not feel warmer due to high winds.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said temperatures were going to be much higher than they have been.

“Quite widely, we could see places reaching highs of 12-13C,” he told the PA news agency, “but we need to factor in the strong winds, the rain, the cloud, and so it is not going to feel quite so warm as this might suggest.”

Storm Isha follows Storm Henk, which hit the UK earlier this month, causing flooding and disruption.

It will be the ninth named storm since September last year.

The Met Office names storms when they have the potential to cause disruption or damage. The agency says it is easier for people to follow the progress of a storm on TV, radio or social media if it has a name.

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