Storm Arwen: winds reach almost 100mph as wild weather batters UK

The UK has felt the full force of Storm Arwen with gusts of almost 100 miles per hour battering some areas, leaving one man dead, buildings damaged and trees blown down in the ferocious winds.

While the red weather warning expired in the early hours of Saturday, the forecaster said amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place, with the expectation of “some very strong gusts” in many areas.

People were still advised to only travel if absolutely necessary, and the Met Office described gusts overnight as “damaging” and having affected “a wide swathe of the United Kingdom”.

The Met Office said speeds hit 98mph (157kmh) at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland. Wind speeds reached 87mph in Orlock Head, County Down, while Inverbervie on the north-east coast of Scotland saw gusts of 78mph, and Aberporth in Wales saw speeds of 77mph.

In Northern Ireland, a man was killed when his car was struck by a falling tree in County Antrim on Friday.

Roads were closed by fallen debris in the worst-hit parts of Scotland, while LNER train services north of Newcastle were also ground to a halt, with high winds, heavy rain and snowfall arriving from Friday afternoon.

The Met Office warned the north-east of England, north-west of England, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the East Midlands will experience cold weather until Monday.

Amber weather warnings remain in place until around 9am on Saturday for the north-east coasts of England and Scotland, and the south-west coasts of England and Wales, while the yellow warning covers most of the UK until 6pm.

Friday night’s rugby union Premiership game between Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors was postponed until Saturday evening due to safety concerns.

In North Wales, ITV was forced to pre-record Friday night’s live episode of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! amid concerns, including that poor weather would interfere with the broadcast around Gwrych Castle.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said it had been dealing with a “large” number of incidents late on Friday “caused by the current weather conditions including many fallen trees and roofs being blown off structures”.

Meanwhile ScotRail services were disrupted between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street, Dunblane and Stirling after a barn was blown onto the line close to Polmont, near Falkirk.

The Met Office described the conditions as “horrendous” and people also reported power cuts.

Northern Powergrid said severe gales had caused power cuts for more than 55,000 customers, mainly in the Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear areas.

Footage showed howling winds whipping up the North Sea in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, and snowfall elsewhere, including in Redcar, Yorkshire, and Whitley Bay, Northumberland.

Police said around 120 lorries were “stuck in the snow” on the M62 at junctions 21 and 22 and urged motorists to avoid the area.

Tweeting pictures of the motorway blanketed in white, they said snow ploughs had been deployed.

A Met Office statement said: “People should stay away from the coast as waves and debris are a danger to life.”

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