Winter Storms Batter UK, Worse to Come: Forecasters

Severe weather alerts in the south and flood warnings in Wales and the Midlands as snow blankets parts of north and Scotland

A car negotiates the snow on the A93 near Glenshee, in the Grampians Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

Stormy wintry conditions continue to affect much of Britain with severe weather warnings in place for five southern counties and 14 flood warnings for Wales, the Midlands and the north-east.

In Cumbria, six vehicles were rescued by police after five inches (13cm) of snow forced The Kirkstone Pass to close for five hours on Monday morning.

The Highways Agency said flooding had closed one lane of the eastbound A27 near Chichester in West Sussex. Drivers were being delayed in the area.

By 6am today, more than an inch of rain had fallen at Shoreham Airport and at Farnham, Surrey.

The Meteorological Office has issued severe weather warnings for East and West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and parts of Dorset.

In Hampshire, police offered to evacuate residents by boat after a road in Emsworth, near Portsmouth, was submerged under a metre of water. Residents of 50 properties are being offered shelter in a community centre.

Sussex police said that since 6am they have dealt with more than 40 weather-related road incidents, especially in West Sussex.

Roads in Pagham, Middleton, Selsey, Bury, Fishbourne and Chichester have all been flooded, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

After early snowfall, heavy rain and high winds struck other areas of the UK yesterday, 14 flood warnings were issued by the Environment Agency for Wales, the Midlands and the north east of England.

Snow fell across high ground from the north Midlands towards Scotland, with the Highlands worst affected.

Train and ferry services were also affected as storm force winds lashed the country. Passengers on a ferry were stranded in rough conditions in the North Sea for nearly 18 hours after bad weather prevented it from docking in Aberdeen.

At least 87 people were aboard the NorthLink Ferries vessel MV Hjaltland, which ended up being diverted to Rosyth in Fife last night. The boat was forced to wait out at sea after being unable to dock in Aberdeen at 7am on Monday.

The AA recorded a busy day for breakdowns yesterday, with more than 13,000 incidents reported throughout the UK, 2,000 more than normal for this time of year.

Heavy rain and leaves on the road surface were responsible for the high number of breakdowns, with Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester worst hit.

The A93 Glenshee to Braemar road in Scotland’s Grampian area was also closed due to drifting snow and high winds while motorists on the M74 near Beattock were advised to drive with care due to snow.

On the rail network, weather-related delays were reported between Durham and Newcastle, and on the Southern Railways route.

The bad weather is down to a deep low pressure, which will move east across the British Isles towards northern France throughout the day.

Tom Tobler, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: “It will still be quite a windy day, with a fair amount of cloud around across much of England and Wales.

“Northern parts of the UK should start to clear up as the low pressure moves on.”

On Monday, snow, strong winds and torrential rain brought disruption for motorists, ending a relatively mild November.

The south-east is expected to bear the brunt of heavy and thundery downpours with the potential for up to 70mm of rainwater.

But the worst of the wintry weather is yet to come with storms expected towards the end of the week after a brief pause tomorrow.

Tuesday 9 November 2010 11.19 GMT

Source: The Guardian

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