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Storm Barra: UK braces for more torrential rain and 70mph winds days after Storm Arwen struck

·3-min read
Armed forces personnel conduct welfare checks amid concerns for elderly residents left in the dark by Storm Arwen - Peter Summers/Getty Images
Armed forces personnel conduct welfare checks amid concerns for elderly residents left in the dark by Storm Arwen - Peter Summers/Getty Images

Britain is set to be battered by Storm Barra, the second named storm of the winter, bringing further heavy rain and winds of up to 70mph. 

The Met Office has now named the weather front that is set to arrive from the west on Tuesday, in the shortest window between such storms since 2018.

Large swathes of northern England are still reeling from Storm Arwen, the first named storm of the winter season which began brewing nine days ago and disrupted power supplies to more than one million homes. 

More than 4,000 residents in Northumberland and County Durham remain without power following torrential rain last week, with 80 troops drafted in to turn the lights back on and assist local residents with welfare checks. 

Watch: Race to restore power to thousands of homes ahead of Storm Barra as anger grows over government response

Yellow weather warnings for wind cover almost the entire UK from 9am on Tuesday, while a yellow alert for snow covers northern England and Scotland from 11am that day. 

Forecasters are warning residents to expect delays to travel, further loss of power and the risk that some rural communities may be cut off. Winds of 50mph are set to be widespread, reaching 60 to 70mph in exposed areas. 

The bleak conditions will hit northern regions especially hard, where County Durham and Northumberland councils have declared “major incidents” due to the 20,000 households stricken without power for four nights last week. 

Some 4,025 homes are still without full power in England and Scotland, down from 4,700 on Saturday night, according to the latest figures from the Energy Networks Association. 

Northern Powergrid confirmed on Saturday that 3,300 homes and business in its region out of 240,000 affected by Storm Arwen were still without full power. 

Some 20 flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible, remain in force from the Environment Agency, much of them covering rivers in Northumberland and surrounding areas. Three flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected, cover the Somerset and Essex coast. 

Dan Stroud, a forecaster at the Met Office, told The Telegraph: “It’s not great news as we're looking for a wet weekend to come for many areas. 

“Today is a bit of a respite with some clear skies developing for some but it’s going to be fairly short lived as we have an active front moving through in early hours of Monday, bringing another spell of heavy rain.

“The next area of concern is during the course of Tuesday - Storm Barra bringing outbreaks of heavy rain quite widely across many areas of the north during the course of Tuesday but the bigger story is going to be the strength of the wind.

“Associated with the wind we've also got an area of rain moving north - with that bump of cold over the north there's a risk of that turning to snow over high level ground on Tuesday, with high level routes affected by 2-5cm and on some lower ground as well.”

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