Weather warnings in place as Storm Bella moves through UK

Caitlin Doherty and Alexander Britton, PA
·3-min read

The vast majority of the UK is subject to weather warnings as Storm Bella – and its gusts of more than 80mph – continues to pass through the country.

South Wales and the south coast of England could see winds of up to 70mph, and exposed coastal areas up to 80mph, as the second named storm of the 2020/21 season continues.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning with communities from Cornwall to Kent told to expect building damage and the possibility of flying debris in the stormy conditions.

On Saturday evening a gust of 83mph was recorded at Aberdaron in north Wales, with further yellow weather warnings for wind and rain in place across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and northern Scotland into Sunday indicating 60mph winds are likely across the country, according to the Met Office.

In the early hours of Sunday, gusts reaching 79mph hit the Isle of Portland in Dorset, winds of up to 72mph were recorded on Mumbles Head, on Swansea Bay, 74mph in Mount Batten, near Plymouth, Devon, and 70mph in St Catherine’s Point on the Isle of Wight, according to Met Office observations.

Heavy rain already brought misery over the Christmas period, and two severe flood warnings indicating a potential threat to life are still in place at Cogenhoe Mill caravan site near Northampton and on the River Nene near Billing Aquadrome on Sunday morning.

A further 88 flood warnings have been issued in England, six in Wales and 12 in Scotland.

Flood defences had been put up in St Neots, Cambridgeshire ahead of the overnight storm, and extra pumps deployed to the Welches Dam and Soham Lodge areas.

Meanwhile, Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and parts of northern England are also subject to a yellow warning for snow and ice from Sunday night into Monday, with a band of rain, sleet and snow forecast and accumulations of 1-3cm are possible.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick urged people to check Government advice, such as from the Environment Agency, who have asked people to keep away from “swollen rivers and flooded land”.

A statement on their website said: “It is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.”

As well as the stormy conditions, temperatures will stay frosty in some parts into next week, leading health professionals to offer advice on how to keep safe in colder weather.

Dr Ishani Kar-Purkayastha, consultant in public health at Public Health England said: “Heat your home to at least 18C if you can, particularly if you have reduced mobility, are 65 and over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease.”