A so-called “weather bomb” is set to bring 80 miles per hour winds to the UK this evening, as wintry storms batter parts of Britain.
A yellow weather warning is in place for northern parts with severe gales expected across North Wales, Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland.
The rapid cyclogenesis – known colloquially as a “weather bomb” – is a deep low pressure system moving slowly eastwards between Scotland and Iceland.
More southerly areas of the country are likely to be hit by a second storm due to roll in from the Atlantic Ocean on Friday.
The Met Office has issued its yellow warning for wind from tonight, with the warning running through tomorrow and into Thursday morning, extending by that stage to cover the whole of the UK.
Forecaster Kirk Waite said some parts will have “a brief respite” for a time on Thursday, before the second weather system develops in the south-west of the country.
The winds today in Scotland are expected to whip up unusually high waves, with spray and over-topping bringing a risk of flooding to coastal roads and causeways.
Much of Scotland has already seen snowfall, and Mr Waite said heavy rain “could lead to some potential issues where snow already there could melt”.
“The weather warning from 2100 on Tuesday to 0600 on Thursday covers the risk of gusts between 60 and 70mph, and 70-80mph in exposed areas,” he said.
“Wintry showers moving through Scotland could lead to some very difficult conditions, even isolated blizzard conditions.”
Temperatures over the next few days are actually not much colder than usual for this time of year, according to Meteogroup forecaster George Goodfellow – but the brisk winds will bring a distinctive chill to the air.
“We are looking at highs of up to 12 degrees in some western areas today, and even 10 degrees in the South East tomorrow, but the strong winds will make it feel fairly nasty,” he said.
“Temperatures will be around one degree in parts of the Highlands in Scotland on Wednesday night.”