Christmas will be a washout as storms continue


Aberystwyth, Wales, UK. Aberystwyth promenade being hit by the St Jude gale force winds on Sunday October 27th 2013. © Barry Wa

Britain is set for a rainy and windy Christmas as the extreme weather continues to sweep in from the Atlantic, say forecasters.

The UK has been battered by winds of up to 90mph in the past 24 hours, and there's more to come, particularly in the south west.

The Met Office says rain is likely to spread across most of the country on Christmas Eve, and as temperatures drop, some parts of the north-east may experience some snow.

Leon Brown, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, told AOL Travel: "The next stormy period looks like Christmas Eve to Christmas Day with a very deep low pressure system moving further south.

"Worst case will be severe gales across the southern half of the UK on Christmas Day and storm force winds around coasts in the south west and Channel."

However, despite the gales, on the whole temperatures will remain milder than normal.

Storm Emily has caused chaos across the country after gusts of up to 90mph hit some parts of Britain. Planes in the south west have struggled to land, including a Ryanair jet, which was seen landing sideways at Bristol Airport battling winds of around 75mph (see video below).

Fallen trees have caused havoc on the railways: on Wednesday night, a train hit a tree as it travelled towards Bournemouth, and another hit a tree near Honiton, Devon. No one has been hurt.

South West Trains said numerous trees had fallen through the night and blocked train lines.

The winds have also caused severe problems in Cumbria, where the roof of the Moota Hotel blew off, reports the Daily Mirror.

In County West Meath, a 23-year-old woman died after a tree fell on her car.
In North Lincolnshire, a search for a missing sailor who fell overboard from a cargo ship on the River Trent is continuing and in Warwickshire, a 19-year-old man was hospitalised after a tree fell on his car.

The Environment Agency issued 70 flood alerts and five serious flood warnings in the south west. A number of rivers are liable to flood today, including the Rivers Yeo, Tamar, Brue, Torridge, Teign and Axe, says the Press Association.

This Is Cornwall reports that stormy weather was affecting much of Cornwall on Wednesday evening with reports of storm surges, flooding and trees being uprooted.

Force incident manager Andy McClenaghan from Devon and Cornwall Police said officers were dealing with numerous incidents across the county.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said "During this period of bad weather we are advising people not to make any unnecessary journeys."

Fire crews have even been called out to rescue several people who became trapped in their vehicles by rising floodwater in the Launceston area.

Leon Brown, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, warned the weather over the next few days during the busy Christmas getaway will be very unsettled. He told Aol Travel: "A sting jet will swing around the southern flank of the storm with mean speeds reaching over 60mph and gusts at lower levels 90mph.

"The Hebrides and western and northern mainland of Highland Region in Scotland, plus Donegal and northern Ulster are all at risk.

"Between 15 and 25mm of rainfall is believed to have fallen over southern England and South Wales.

"Thursday will be colder and still very windy over Scotland with snow over the Highlands, even down to lower levels. Hail, sleet and hill snow showers also spreading across Northern Ireland, Wales and north west England.

"Another spell of very wet and windy weather will spread east on Friday evening with gales around all coasts and gusts inland over 50mph, so not a pleasant evening to travel.

"Saturday will also remain very windy with strong to gale-force south west winds across southern Britain and rain. There will be squally wintry showers over the north on both Saturday and Sunday with snow over the mountains in Scotland.

"Sunday should be a better day for the south with just isolated showers and sunshine. It will be colder with gusty westerly winds."