New Storms On The Way To Blast Britain

New severe weather warnings for large parts of the country have been issued by the Met Office, with severe gales and snow expected to hit the UK this week.

Yellow "be prepared" alerts are in place for all of Scotland, parts of Northern Ireland and for northern counties of England. London and the South East may also be affected.

Sky News weather presenter Isobel Lang said: "Be prepared for a rather volatile week ahead. Expect severe gales today, colder air on Tuesday with some snow, with then another storm tracking across northern areas late Wednesday."

The latest bout of bad weather could affect areas already hit by a series of ferocious gales.

In northern Scotland and the Western Isles thousands of homes remain without power for a fourth day after a storm on Friday saw gusts of winds of up to 113mph.

Electricity supplier SSE said around 8,000 homes had still not been reconnected.

The worst-affected areas were the Western Isles, around Wick, Inverness-shire and around Dingwall.

The Red Cross is providing help to those in need. Anne Eadie, who is co-ordinating the response, said: "Our biggest priority was to make sure that people identified as vulnerable because of age, infirmity or some degree of disability were able to withstand this crisis safely.

"Our response will wind down as more households are reconnected to the grid, but until supplies are back to normal, our teams will continue to provide whatever help is needed."

The series of storms has been stirred up by an extra-powerful jet stream in the Atlantic, which was triggered by plunging temperatures in the US hitting warmer air from the south.

The bad weather has caused a number of incidents. In the Scottish mountains three people were rescued after being stranded in a blizzard.

A man fell into the Northern Corries on Saturday night and was airlifted to hospital, while two people were trapped overnight following heavy snowfall in the central Cairngorms.

A driver died in Aberdeenshire where weather has been causing problems, and police are investigating if it was a factor.

Two teenagers were also taken to hospital after a car crash involving a gritter in South Ayrshire.

In Brighton, the bodies of two friends have been recovered after they were swept out to sea in severe weather.

A statue on top of the Sunderland Empire toppled over and was left dangling 90 feet up, causing a performance to be cancelled.

In the Solent, engineers trying to stabilise the cargo ship Hoegh Osaka near Southampton have also been hampered by bad weather.