STORM Freya has struck the UK with 90mph winds and heavy rain – forcing the Met Office to issue a “danger to life” weather warning.
The 500-mile-wide storm system came barrelling towards Cornwall at around 3pm this afternoon after sweeping in off the Atlantic.
Forecasters have urged people to take care if out and about this evening as the fearsome storm gains momentum.
The Met Office has already recorded 87mph winds just off the coast of Cornwall, and warns the strongest gusts are yet to come.
Strong gusts could send debris like roof tiles and branches flying – while road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected by monster winds, forecasters warned.
Sophie Yeomans, Met Office forecaster, said: “Tonight we’ve got Storm Freya moving through and that means we’re going to be seeing strong winds and some heavy rainfall.
“We’ve got a yellow weather warning out for this – if you’re in that area we could see 55mph, perhaps even 65mph quite widely. And in some locations even up to 80mph. So do take care if you’re out and about.
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“Early in the evening there’s heavy rain across parts of northern England and South Eastern Counties of northern Ireland.
“The strongest winds though are likely to be across South West England and Wales as well. This is where we’re going to see gusts of up to 80mph.
“As we head through the evening, temperatures will drop and we might even see some snow on the hilltops in northern England, but it’s not likely to cause any disruption.
“Storm Freya will move out into the North Sea as we head into the early hours, bringing the strongest gusts down to the eastern coastlines so do take care on the Monday morning commute if you’re in these areas.
“Overnight, clear spells mean that temperatures will drop to maybe only 2C or 3C which means that we might get a frost in some spots.
“Monday morning though a wet and grey start across southern England in that rain, but through the day we’ll see the sunshine start to come out – clear blue skies and sunshine, especially in central and eastern areas.
“It’s only in western areas that we’ll see blustery showers starting to push through, and it will feel cold in the showers with highs of only 10C or 11C.”
A yellow weather warning is in place in Northern, Central and South West England and Wales from 3pm on Sunday to 6am on Monday.
The Met Office’s yellow warning reads: “Storm Freya will bring very strong winds, with some travel disruption and possible dangerous conditions late Sunday and into Monday.
“Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible. Some damage to buildings and trees such as tiles blown from roofs and fallen branches could happen.
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“Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible. Some roads and bridges may close.
“Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.
“Injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.”
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