Storm Hector: 'Danger to life' as 100mph winds smash into UK, weather forecasters warn

Tom Barnes

Winds of up to 100mph have battered the UK as Storm Hector brings potentially life-threatening gales to the UK.

The Met Office has warned gusts of up to 70mph could hit lowland areas of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England on Thursday after a prolonged period of fair weather across Britain.

Forecasters said winds had reached the 100mph mark in the “very exposed” Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands overnight.

Amber and Yellow weather warnings remain in place until 3pm on Thursday, with large waves and debris from the sea presenting a danger to life in coastal areas, the Met Office said.

ScotRail said “chainsaw gangs” and overhead line teams have been deployed across the rail network to remove fallen trees and branches that are causing delays and cancellations to services.

Areas affected include Stirling, Partick, Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said Western and Northern Isles ferries have also been affected by wind.

“As predicted a fair bit of travel disruption due to high winds as Storm Hector makes his presence felt - particularly on ferries & rail,” he tweeted.

Great Western Road in Glasgow was closed for a time due to a fallen tree while the Erskine Bridge and Clyde Expressway were also affected.

Pollokshaws Road in Glasgow was reduced to one lane due to a dangerous building in the strong winds.

The Forth Road Bridge was closed to double-decker buses and only cars are being allowed to cross the Tay Bridge.

“Scotland and northern England will see that swathe of strong winds move eastwards through the day,” Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said.

“The wettest weather will be out of the way but there will be some blustery showers following and with the yellow warning in force disruption is possible.

“Further spells of rain will push their way into Scotland through the night before clearer skies open out by the start of Friday.”

Storm Hector is the first storm to take place during the summer months since the UK and Ireland began naming summer storms in 2017.

Although not exceptional, it is unusual for winds to reach 70mph in Britain during June, the Met Office said.

Additional reporting by PA