YORKSHIRE could be caught in the eye of Storm Doris on Thursday, with the possibility of travel disruption, damage to buildings and flying debris, forecasters have warned.
Severe weather warnings have been put in place for much of the country, with the North and Midlands urged to “be prepared”.
“Amber warnings” predict strong winds and heavy rain in Yorkshire, while winds as fast as 60mph are also expected to batter southern England.
Across Yorkshire, winds are expected to gust to 70 or 80mph for a short period.
Winds of up to 80mph are expected to plague northern Scotland on Wednesday before Doris arrives from the Atlantic on Thursday, the Met Office said.
Leeds Council briefly closed the nororious wind blackspot of Bridgewater Place during Tuesday’s high winds and says it is monitoring conditions.
“We have got a fairly active area of low pressure coming in from the Atlantic,” said Met Office forecaster Emma Sharples.
“It is strengthening as it moves eastwards to the UK.”
The Met Office’s amber weather warning alerts people that “whilst the strongest winds look to be only short-lived, damage to structures, interruptions to power supplies and widespread disruption to travel networks are likely, with a danger of injury from flying debris”.
A weather warning for snow is also in place for Scotland, which could see treacherous blizzard-like conditions.
Storm Doris is expected to move on quickly, with the worst of the weather gone by Thursday evening.
The Environment Agency warned there was a risk of localised flooding from Doris.
A spokesman said: “Rain on saturated ground on Saturday could also lead to flooding in some areas.
“Environment Agency teams are out on the ground clearing screens and will issue flood warnings and alerts where necessary.”
The agency said it was training new staff on how to deploy temporary flood barriers, but there were no plans to use them this week.
While further Atlantic gusts will bring more rain and wind through the weekend and into next week, they are not expected to reach the heights of Doris.
Storms with the potential to cause substantial impact are named by the Met Office and Met Eireann, moving through the alphabet.
The first was named Abigail in November 2015, after members of the public suggested monikers for the “name our storms” project.
Forecasters are now in their second run through the alphabet. After Doris, Britons can expect to hear of Ewan, Fleur and Gabriel.
Storm Doris’s appearance contrasts with Monday’s temperatures, where visitors to Kew Gardens, west London, enjoyed the warmest day of the winter so far, at 18.3C (64.9F).
Parts of London and the south of England had temperatures warmer than Ibiza, southern Spain and Menorca.
WEATHER AND FLOOD FORECAST
• 35 – 40mm recorded rainfall across top of Wharfe and Ure catchments during Tuesday night. Lower totals seen elsewhere across Yorkshire.
• Frontal rain will spread in from the west during Wednesday night, continuing through Thursday (Storm Doris) before clearing to the east on Thursday evening.
• Above 400m rainfall may fall as snow, up to 10cm across the northern Pennines. However, forecast certainty in the snow detail is still very low.
• Response on lower catchments such as the lower Ouse is likely to be elevated as a result of both periods of rainfall however impacts are likely to be minor or below.
• Currently in neap tides so astronomic levels are low. However, high winds are causing isolated overtopping and spray at Bridlington which could lead to minor impacts.
• Friday is expected to be predominantly dry with just the potential for some scattered showers.
• Frontal rain is expected to move in from the west on Friday afternoon or evening and persist through much of Saturday.
• Largest accumulations are expected over high ground.
• Any lying snow (up to 10mm water equivalent across the Pennines) is expected to melt on Friday. Some of this melt will be ahead of the first band of rain, with any remaining snow quickly melting once the rain starts.
• Response from the headwaters of rivers from early Saturday could again be similar to the overnight response and the response expected tomorrow.
• However response on lower catchments such as the lower Ouse is likely to be elevated of this consistent period of unsettled weather and potentially a snowmelt affect.
• Isolated overtopping and spray at Bridlington which could lead to minor impacts potentially on Saturday and Sunday.