Storm Agnes Batters the UK and Ireland with Heavy Rain, Brings 70mph Wind Gusts
A Stormy Arrival
The first named storm of autumn, Agnes, is currently sweeping across the UK and Ireland, with gusts recorded up to 70mph. The storm marks the beginning of a turbulent period that continues into spring, as frigid air from the Arctic meets milder air over the Atlantic Ocean. This seasonal clash often results in storm formation, with Agnes making its arrival just days after the official start of fall.
Weather Warnings and Potential Dangers
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for strong winds and heavy rain in parts of the south-west and north of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Coastal areas could experience winds up to 80mph, while inland areas could see gusts up to 60mph. The Met Office has warned of potential flooding, danger to life from flying debris and falling trees, power cuts, disruption to transport, and damage to properties. As a result, the public has been advised to secure outdoor items and stay away from stormy seas and cliff edges.
Storm Agnes’s Impact on Ireland
Agnes has brought winds gusting to at least 45 mph over much of Ireland. Southern Ireland, which will bear the brunt of the storm, could encounter gusts of 60 to 75 mph along the coast and areas of flooding. Orange warnings, signifying dangerous, disruptive conditions, are in effect for Cork, Kerry, and Waterford in Ireland’s south.
The Storm’s Effect on the UK
Despite conditions not being as intense as in Ireland, the UK is still experiencing significant effects from the storm. Gusts of at least 30 to 45 mph are expected in most areas, with zones along Britain’s north and west coasts and its hilly and mountainous terrain potentially experiencing gusts reaching 50 to 75 mph. The Environment Agency has issued five flood alerts in England, and the storm is expected to remain drier across south-east England.
Storm Agnes: A Weather Bomb
Storm Agnes has been termed a ‘weather bomb’ due to its intensity. It has already made landfall on the west coast of Ireland and left thousands of homes without power, albeit briefly. Its strong winds are set to hit the UK later in the afternoon. Northern Ireland, southwest Scotland, west and northwest Wales, Cumbria, and Lancashire will likely be most affected by the wind, which on higher ground and coastal areas could reach speeds of 75mph.
Ensuring Safety During the Storm
Amid the potentially dangerous conditions, the RNLI has warned people to maintain a safe distance away from the water on the coast. Safety partner Sam Hughes added, “It is not worth risking your life. If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself; you may end up in difficulty too.”
The Aftermath of Storm Agnes
As Storm Agnes moves across Scotland, it is expected to clear away by Thursday morning. However, the aftermath could include travel disruptions and potential damage to buildings and trees. The storm, which intensified quickly in the Atlantic during Tuesday evening, is expected to cause dangerous conditions along coastlines, particularly the Irish Sea.
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