Met Office issues urgent new danger to life alert for imminent 30-hour deluge

UK weather: Strong winds expected for Friday

Storm Betty is set to batter Britain as heavy, thundery rain and lightning have led the Met Office to issue a slew of weather warnings with a risk of danger to life.

A yellow weather warning for thunderstorms came into force at 6am on Friday (August 18) and covers an area stretching from Birmingham to Bath as well as the whole of the south coast up to the Thames estuary. But more is set to come.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge told “Storm Betty will be bringing strong winds to Irish Sea coasts and heavy rain to a broader swathe of western UK later today and overnight.

“Additionally, intense thunderstorms will be affecting south and east England overnight. These thunderstorms will be associated with heavy rain and hail.”

Another yellow weather warning has been issued for wind along Irish Sea coasts, taking in Anglesey, Northern Ireland, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and south to Cornwall. It is set to last until 6pm today.

The Met Office is warning of possible injuries and danger to life from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.

Travel chaos also features in the warning with bus and train services disrupted, delays on exposed routes and blocked roads due to fallen trees. Power cuts are also on the cards as well as damage to some structures, according to the Met Office.


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Two further yellow weather warnings for rain have also been issued by the Met Office covering parts of Scotland on Saturday (August 19).

The first warning covers a swathe of central Scotland, stretching from Aberdeen in the east to the Isle of Arran in the south west.

According to the Met Office’s thunderstorm warning, there is a “good chance” driving conditions will be affected by spray and standing water, leading to longer journey times by car and bus.

Flooding of homes and businesses is also possible along with a chance of damage to buildings and structures from lightning strikes, as well as short term loss of power. Delays to train services are also possible, according to the Met Office.

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Named Storm Betty by Met Eireann, this is the second named storm this August.

A yellow weather warning covering Northern Ireland says there is “a small chance” of fast-flowing or deep floodwater causing danger to life. That warning runs from 9pm on Friday until 6am on Saturday.

In eastern England, the Met Office has warned of a possible danger to life due to fast-flowing or deep floodwater.

That warning covers East Anglia, Greater London, Kent, Essex, Sussex and part of Hampshire.

Netweather forecaster Jo Farrow explained an Atlantic low will bring heavy frontal rain, pushing northwards with strong gusty winds around the low with gales for exposed coastal parts of south west Britain through the Irish Sea.

She added Scotland will also be windy in an easterly flow with strong lee gusts for the north west Highlands.

Ms Farrow said: “Outbreaks of showery rain will spill up from the southwest early on Friday. This first band will fade in the afternoon but it will include heavy and thundery downpours for Wales, the Midlands and West Country and Northern Ireland in the morning.”

She added: “These extend over the Isle of Man, north west England down to the Isle of Wight later in the morning with more wet weather for central England around lunchtime which extends down to south east England in the afternoon.

“There will be a lot of cloud about, but it will be warm and humid. Anywhere that does see sunshine will see the temperatures leaping up.

“The threat of heavy, downpours continues into the afternoon for inland central/eastern England with a risk of thunderstorms and rain for Cumbria and Dumfries & Galloway.

“By Friday evening a few showery outbreaks would be near to Edinburgh and could affect the Festival and Tattoo.”

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