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Storm Arwen to batter UK for one more day after 100mph gales and heavy snow

Storm Arwen is bringing more severe weather, including life-threatening gales and heavy snow, says the Met Office, after a teacher was killed by a falling tree and 130,000 homes lost power

The conditions rapidly deteriorated overnight

Deadly Storm Arwen is set to batter the UK for one more day after damaging gales peaked at nearly 100mph and heavy snow caused chaos on the roads.

A headteacher was killed in Antrim, Northern Ireland when a tree fell on top of his car, more than 120 lorries were stuck in heavy snow in Greater Manchester, and more than 130,000 homes were without power overnight.

The Met Office said speeds hit 98mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland.

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.

Most of the UK was covered by severe weather warnings
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Image:

Met Office)

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

As much as 15cm of snow was expected over the Pennines and 8cm on higher ground in the Midlands, with flakes settling at lower levels across the UK.

Primary school headteacher Francis Lagan was named locally as the man who died when a tree fell on a car in County Antrim on Friday.

Wind speeds reached 87mph in Orlock Head, County Down. Inverbervie on the north-east coast of Scotland saw gusts of 78mph, while Aberporth in Wales saw speeds of 77mph.

Saturday’s strongest gusts could exceed 70-75mph in coastal areas in eastern Scotland, north-east England, Wales and south-west England. It will stay very cold, with temperatures barely climbing above the freezing mark.

Photos on social media showed significant damage caused by the high winds in the north east town of Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire.

One picture showed an entire garage roof that had blown off and hit the side of a nearby house.

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.

Strong winds will continue to batter the UK
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Image:

Wxcharts.com)

Snow ploughs and gritters were brought in to rescue more than 120 drivers whose lorries were stuck in heavy snow on the M62 in Greater Manchester overnight.

More than 80,000 homes were without power in Scotland, while 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.

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.

Stormy seas at the breakwater on the Headland, Hartlepool, County Durham
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Image:

SIPA USA/PA Images)

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

And 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.

Heavy snow left drivers stranded on the M62 in Greater Manchester
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Image:

NWmwaypolice/Twitter)

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

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

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

After the warnings expire, more wintry showers are expected in the north and east, and it will be a very cold night with widespread frost and icy patches. Winds will ease.

Sunday will stay cold with further wintry showers in the north and east, and the weather will remain unsettled early next week.

Met Office five-day weather forecast

Saturday

Early rain, sleet and snow over eastern, southern and central England slowly becoming confined to eastern and south-eastern England.

Elsewhere, sunny spells, but also some wintry showers in the north.

Very windy for many and feeling cold.

Saturday night

Wintry showers in the north and east, and a few showers western Wales and Cornwall.

Otherwise generally dry with clear spells.

Cold and frosty with icy patches.

Becoming less windy.

Sunday

Many areas fine and dry but cloudier in the far west and further wintry showers in the north and east.

Feeling cold again, but less windy than today.

Monday to Wednesday

Largely fine but cold on Monday with showers along North Sea coasts, plus some patchy rainfall and hill snow in Scotland.

Remaining unsettled with further rain and showers into midweek.

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