Storm coming? Amber alert in place for south east

Storm coming? Amber alert in place for south east

Storm coming? Amber alert in place for south east

Strong winds and heavy rain are expected across the south east overnight and on Monday morning.

Met Office forecasts suggest a low pressure system will rapidly deepen just to the south west of the UK later today, before moving across the country to be out over the North Sea by the afternoon on Monday.

This is expected to bring gusts of 60-80 mph widely across the southern half of the UK.

Any major storm which occurs in early autumn has the potential to cause widespread severe disruption through falling trees, structural damage, transport disruption or power cuts and possibly flooding.

Frank Saunders, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: "We are confident that a severe storm will affect Britain on Sunday night and Monday. We are now looking at refining the details about which areas will see the strongest winds and the heaviest rain.

"This is a developing situation and we'd advise people to stay up to date with our forecasts and warnings over the weekend, and be prepared to change their plans if necessary. We'll continue to work closely with authorities and emergency services to ensure they are aware of the expected conditions."

The storm is also expected to feature heavy rain for some parts of the country, which also has the potential to cause some localised impacts.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "Environment Agency teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts. We will continue to closely monitor the situation ready to issue flood warnings if needed. We are supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding.”

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue are advising motorists to take extra care on wet or flooded roads and watch out for fallen trees and other debris.

Road safety manager Keith Wheeler said: “Check local traffic reports to see if the route is clear before you make your journey, and avoid travelling during the worst of the weather if you can.

"Take great care when driving while it’s still dark in areas that you know have flooded or been affected by severe weather on previous occasions, and please don't ignore diversion and road closure signs."

Driving tips during the wet and windy weather are:

  • You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. Rain and spray from vehicles make it more difficult to see and be seen.
  • Keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead.
  • Stopping distances on wet roads will be at least double those on dry roads because your tyres have less grip on the road.
  • Steering becomes unresponsive when water prevents tyres from gripping the road. If this happens, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
  • Take extra care around pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse-riders.
  • Don't attempt to drive through water that is more than a few inches deep. The water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast. Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded.
  • Be alert to the danger posed by debris, including branches and slates, that may have blown into the roadway.
  • Remember, wind rarely blows steadily, and a sudden gust can catch out even the most experienced driver.
  • High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather, but strong gusts can also blow a car, cyclist, motorcyclist or horse-rider off course. This can happen on open stretches of road exposed to strong crosswinds, or when passing bridges or gaps in hedges.
  • In very windy weather your vehicle may be affected by turbulence created by large vehicles. Motorcyclists are particularly affected, so keep well back from them when they are overtaking a high-sided vehicle.

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