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UK Weather: Severe Wind Warnings As Storm Isha Set To Wreak Travel Chaos

Storm Isha is set to batter “everybody” in the UK with wind and rain during a “rare” weather cycle, forecasters say.

Winds of up to 80mph will swoop in later on Sunday, potentially causing power cuts and loss of mobile phone signal, while roads and bridges are likely to be shut and transport services could face delays and cancellations in some areas.

Nearly four inches of rain could fall over a few hours in some regions and cause localised flooding, with eight flood warnings already in place across England.

People have been warned of severe gusts, with the risk of large waves along coastal paths, loose debris and difficult travelling conditions.

The Met Office has told Britons to expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and flying debris, as south-westerly winds of up to 80mph could hit exposed coasts and there could be gusts of up to 60mph inland.

The Department of Infrastructure said it expects all parts of Northern Ireland to be affected, with the strongest winds during the early hours of Monday, around the coast and in exposed locations. It also warned that recent strike action may hamper recovery efforts – last week thousands of public sector workers staged pickets in the biggest industrial action in living memory – and advised drivers to consider their journeys as strong winds were forecast from 11am on Sunday to 4am on Monday.

“After Storm Isha tomorrow there’s more wet and windy weather on the way on Tuesday, with a yellow warning for wind already in place,” the Met Office said on Saturday.

On Friday, the forecaster issued amber weather warnings for wind for northern and western England, Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland from Sunday into Monday, warning of strong winds, heavy rain, a risk to lives and damage to buildings.

An amber weather warning for wind was also issued for London and south-east England, starting from midnight on Sunday until 9am Monday morning.

East Midlands Railway said it expected “significant disruption” on Sunday and Monday and delays and alterations to services, while Police Scotland advised people to avoid unnecessary travel.

The heaviest downpours may occur on Sunday as 30-50mm could fall in many places – and there is potential for peaks of 80mm to 100mm over hills.

Network Rail said engineers will inspect closed lines for damage after the storm subsides, warning passengers that services would start later on Monday on affected routes.

The railway operator advised commuters to check their journey with National Rail Enquiries.

Liam Sumpter, chief operating officer at Scotland’s Railway, said: “Our priority is the safety of our passengers and colleagues and that is why we have taken the decision to close some parts of our network early on Sunday night as the worst of Storm Isha hits the country.

“Our engineers will also need to thoroughly inspect the network for any damage before we reopen the lines and restart train services on Monday morning.

“Weather specialists, based in our control room, will monitor conditions closely throughout the weekend and our teams on the ground will be ready to deal with any issues caused by the storm as quickly as possible.”

Storm Isha is the ninth named storm to hit the UK since the season began in September.

PA Media contributed to this report

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