Storm Freya brings near 80mph gales, snow and travel disruption
Storm Freya is bringing gales, snow and travel disruption as the Met Office warns that dangerous conditions will continue into Monday.
Gusts approaching 80mph have been measured by the forecaster as the weather system passes over the country.
A severe yellow warning for strong winds issued by the Met Office covers large parts of the country including Wales, southwest England, the Midlands and northern England.
The warning runs until 6am on Monday.
The highest wind speed measured by the Met Office on Sunday was 76mph in Mumbles, south Wales, while 73mph was measured in Capel Curig in the north of the country.
High winds caused the M4 to close in both directions between junctions 41 and 42, Traffic Wales said.
In Devon a gust of 55mph was measured in Chivenor, while 52mph was recorded on the Isle of Portland in Dorset.
Three men had to be rescued from the sea off Studland Bay, also in Dorset, after they got into difficulty in a dinghy.
The trio were left “cold and wet but uninjured” after they managed to clamber onto a yacht that was at anchor, according to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Heavy rain has already hit Scotland on Sunday, with 34mm falling in Kinlochewe in the northwest Highlands.
In Shapp, Cumbria 22mm of rain was recorded and 18mm fell in Mona, which is on the island of Anglesey in Wales.
The A465 was closed on Sunday between Glynneath and Rhigos due to flooding, according to Traffic Wales.
A separate severe warning for snow, which runs until 2am on Monday, has been issued for parts of northern England and southern Scotland.
Meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said a “mixture of sleet and snow” is likely to fall on ground at an altitude of more than 200m.
“This will continue across that area for the next few hours,” he added.
Wintry weather has also been causing travel problems in Ireland as the storm hit the southern half of the island.
Mr Dewhurst said that we would see a “slow ease” in the conditions as the end of the warnings approaches.
The gales and snow came within days of record-breaking temperatures in much of Britain, with a high of 21.2C (69.4F) in Kew Gardens, London, on Tuesday.