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  • Location: Shirley, Croydon, Greater London
  • Location: Shirley, Croydon, Greater London

    Weather forecasters are warning of severe gales this weekend across southwest England and southern and western Ireland.

    Anybody considering venturing out to sea across the Southwest Approaches has been warned to think again.

    "Gales and storm winds will sweep across southwest Ireland and southwest Britain into the English Channel. Disturbed weather," says Sky News weather presenter Francis Wilson.

    "There's no sign of snow for Christmas, but plenty of waterlogged ground."

    There has already been a taste of things to come, with winds gusting over 70mph last night over Cardigan Bay and around the Isle of Wight and the Solent.

    Many parts of Britain and Ireland have also been hit by torrential downpours, squalls and thunderstorms. More of the same is looming but with even stronger winds on the way for Sunday.

    An active low pressure system has brought the wet and windy conditions eastwards, Sky News weather presenter Lucy Verasamy explained.

    "Much of the South woke up to gales - gusts topped 83mph on the Isles of Scilly, 71mph on Aberporth, west Wales and 50mph along the southeast coast," she said.

    "These strong, gusty winds were enough to cause some localised damage.

    "In Essex, the winds brought chaos during rush hour as rail services were disrupted and trains were evacuated.

    "In central London there were reports of fallen trees on Hampstead Heath."

    The worst hit areas at the weekend are predicted to be Cornwall and Devon, and western parts of Connacht and Munster.

    It was a year ago today that tornado-like winds ripped through parts of Britain, causing serious damage to buildings and property.

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  • Location: Shirley, Croydon, Greater London
  • Location: Shirley, Croydon, Greater London

    Flood Alert As UK Braced For Storms

    Flood warnings are in place across Britain as the country braces itself for strong winds and heavy rain.

    Residents have been warned the gales, reaching speeds of up to 80 mph, will be strong enough to damage properties and bring down trees.

    The south-west of England is expected to bear the brunt of the storms which are set to build up tonight and into tomorrow.

    The Environment Agency has 30 flood warnings in place, with a further 79 flood watches.

    There are 22 flood warnings in the South West, three in the Midlands and five in Wales.

    Of the flood watches, 29 are in the South West, 16 in the Midlands and four in the East Anglian area.

    One is in the North East, two in the North West, one in the southern area, five in the Thames area and 21 in Wales.

    Snow is also expected to fall on the Pennines and further north in Scotland, with Wales also receiving a flurry before the snow turns back into rain.

    Sky News weather presenter Lucy Verasamy says: "There'll be some terrible conditions around.

    "It'll be very stormy in the south-west first thing on Sunday, with severe gales.

    "There'll be gusts all day in Wales and the west. With hardly any sunshine anywhere it's looking thoroughly miserable for many of us."

    The weather warnings come a year after strong winds caused major damage across London.

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  • Location: Shirley, Croydon, Greater London
  • Location: Shirley, Croydon, Greater London

    Brrritain Set For New Year Deep Freeze

    An icy blast will bring snow, sleet and freezing temperatures to much of the UK in the first days of 2008.

    The New Year could see biting winds from the East bringing the harshest winter weather so far.

    Forecasters say an inch or more of snow could fall "anywhere in the country" and in some areas there will be much more.

    And that could mean roads and travel chaos as millions of people head home from New Year celebrations, and then return to work.

    The freezing cold snap will arrive by Wednesday, as the chilly conditions that have already hit much of Europe move East.

    Sky News weather forecaster Jo Wheeler said it would mean snow at first on higher ground - but then across the country.

    "Temperatures could fall overnight to -6C or -7C. And Thursday could see particularly heavy snow falling across much of central and southern England," she said.

    Some forecasters are predicting a second, more severe arctic blast to arrive in late January or early February, bringing the coldest temperatures in Britain more than a decade.

    Nevertheless, the Met Office says 2007 will be one of the warmest ever. Up until December 17, the average temperature for the year was 9.6C (49.2F), just short of the record set in 2006.

    It followed the wet summer, when floods struck parts of the country, and a hotter than usual spring.

    "It all suggests climate change is happening, and is affecting the UK," said the Met Office's Dave Britton.

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  • Location: Northampton (90m ASL)
  • Location: Northampton (90m ASL)

    In the latest forecast, there are sleet and snow graphics over much of central, southern and eastern England on Thursday at 12pm, as well as Eastern Scotland. Temps of 2-5C across England, 3C in Scotland, and 4C in Northern Ireland. The forecaster warned of the 'very chilly' weather ahead and said sleet and snow were likely even at lower levels.

    Watch the forecast online here:


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