Storm Barra is undergoing a “rapid deepening” ahead of it arriving in the UK today, according to a Met Office meteorologist.
The Atlantic storm will barrel in across the Republic of Ireland before sparking a number of severe weather warnings across the UK today (Tuesday, December 7). These include snow alerts across northern England and Scotland and wind alerts across most of the UK.
A second weather warning for wind was issued by the Met Office yesterday, with this one exclusively covering parts of the South West and South Wales.
The storm is expected to hit the region by mid-morning today, bringing with it rain and strong winds.
Marco Petagna, a meteorologist at the Met Office, tweeted: “Signs developing Storm Barra is undergoing rapid deepening now.”
And the Mirror reports how a weather bomb is set to ‘explode’ over the UK today, with heavy snow and 70mph winds.
A rare red alert has been issued in the Republic of Ireland, while disruptive wind and some snow are expected to hit parts of northern England and Scotland, the Met Office said.
Power giants promised to get 1,600 homes still without electricity reconnected before it blew in from the Atlantic – but experts warned electricity lines could again be felled by ‘Storm Barra’.
A low-pressure system qualifies as a weather ‘bomb’ if its centre deepens by 24 millibars in 24 hours.
It is expected the one behind the latest extreme conditions will deepen even further than that before it lands on our shores.
Frank Saunders, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Gusts of 45-50 mph are expected widely, with 60-70 mph in exposed coastal locations.”
There could be 10cm of snow in the Scottish Highlands.
In Ireland, health officials warned people to expect disruptions to services – including Covid-19 testing and vaccination centres – while the Department of Education recommended all schools in areas covered by red and orange weather warnings should not open on Tuesday.
According the Irish Meteorological Service, Met Éireann, the red weather warning is a rare caution – used only under circumstances of “extremely dangerous/destructive” weather.
Irish PM Micheal Martin said Storm Barra would be “very, very serious” and advised people to “avoid the coast at all costs”.
The latest storm could not have come at a worst time for those who faced an 11th night with no heating – and ‘no hope’.
Stewart Sexton, of Alnwick, Northumberland, said Northern Powergrid had promised their power would be restored within 24 hours every day since it was cut off on Nov 26 by the 98 mph winds of Storm Arwen.
“It’s exhausting, it’s wearing us down, and it’s a constant worry. Every day seems to bring a new problem,” he said. “We have not got any hope at all. It’s awful, the futility of it.”
Northern Powergrid has handed out survival packs of a small blanket, hot water bottle, mug, pair of socks, glove and hat – but “no logs, candles or batteries”, he added.
The majority without power were in the north east of England where there are still 1,600 homes without electricity. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said power had been restored to all 135,000 affected customers on Sunday.
The Irish weather service, Met Eireann, named “Storm Barra” as it hit their west coast at the week-end. Now it is heading our way.
“It is not good news,” said Dan Stroud, of the Met Office. “There is a low pressure out in the Atlantic. As it approaches, it deepens explosively.
“It is going to bring in a wide band of rain, bumping into cold air over Scotland and turning readily to snow.”
The first met Office yellow warning comes into force at 9am on Tuesday. The Energy Network Association said that operators were “working together” to prepare for the storm.