Power cuts and travel chaos could hit the entire UK this weekend as Storm Ciara unleashes 80mph winds, forecasters warned.
The Met Office announced a yellow weather warning on Thursday which will bring “impacts across the whole of the UK” between Saturday evening and midnight on Sunday.
Met Office meteorologist Grahame Madge described the weather front as “Ciara rather rudely barging her way through”, taking conditions from “rather benign” to “very unsettled”.
He said: “There’s the potential for 80mph gusts in exposed locations across parts of the UK.”
And he warned of the risks of “coastal flooding, large winds across sea fronts” as well as possible bridge and road closures.
Mr Madge added: “We could also see some impact on networks, both phone and power.”
After a calm start to February, conditions will start to change as the weekend approaches, with winds beginning to increase on Friday.
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Mr Madge warned “there are some strong winds ahead of Ciara”, and added that “through Saturday and Friday we’re starting to see these winds strengthen”.
But he said they are “not likely to reach their peak until the middle of the warning period”, through Sunday.
Storm Ciara is the third named storm of the 2019/20 winter season, and follows Storm Atiyah, which hit on 8-9 December, and Storm Brendan, which brought wind and rain to the country on 13-14 January.