Met Office issues urgent ICE warning as Storm Barra rolls towards UK

Man the BARRA-cades! Met Office issues urgent ICE warning as 1,000-mile wide Storm Barra rampages towards UK bringing 80mph gales, blizzards and up to EIGHT INCHES of snow within HOURS

  • Travel disruption expected across the country as Met Office issues fresh warnings for snow, ice, rain and wind
  • It comes 11 days after Storm Arwen battered Britain, with 700 homes and businesses still left without power 
  • Have you been affected by Storm Barra today? Get in touch with your pictures: tom.pyman@mailonline.co.uk 
  • The Met Office has issued an urgent ice warning as the 1,000-mile wide Storm Barra rampages towards the UK.

    Barra named after BBC NI weather presenter 

    Storm Barra was named after a BBC NI weather presenter.

    Barra Best revealed he had received a call from Met Eireann, the Irish meteorological service, earlier this year asking for the origins of his name.

    Soon enough, his name was being plastered across headlines amid warnings of the damage the storm could cause.

    He told the BBC’s Evening Extra programme: ‘What happened was the head of Irish weather service Met Eireann called me in August and asked me where my name was from.

    ‘I thought it was a bit strange, I didn’t know why she was asking – it comes from the south-west of Ireland from Finbarr, St Finbarr in Co Cork and it’s derived from that.’

    He continued: ‘She said oh that’s fine, that’s fine. I asked why did you want to know and she said oh you’ll find out in about a month. 

    ‘Of course the email came out and the list of names were announced and she had decided to put my name in there.’

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    The storm is set to bring 80mph gales, blizzards and up to eight inches of snow to Britain within hours – with hundreds of households still struggling with the fallout from Storm Arwen less than two weeks ago.

    The energy firm Northern Powergrid said about 700 homes and businesses in the north of England are still cut off due to the damage caused 11 days ago, despite a pledge from the Prime Minister that those affected by the power cuts will have supply restored by today.

    The company has handed out survival packs, consisting of a small blanket, hot water bottle, mug, pair of socks, gloves and a hat – although some affected residents said they were struggling to get hold of generators. 

    It added that it was ready to respond if Barra also affected the network, as the Met Office issued a yellow warning, with drivers facing potentially hazardous icy conditions in western Scotland and north-west England. 

    While the west of Ireland will receive the worst of the storm today, yellow wind warnings are in place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland – with travel disruptions likely. There are also fears of further power cuts and damage to buildings.

    Huge wind gusts are expected on the western and southern coasts of England and Wales, accompanied by large waves that carry a ‘small chance’ of risk to life by throwing beach material onto sea front, coastal roads and properties, the Met Office said.

    The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has urged people to stay well back from the water’s edge and to dial 999 for the coastguard in any coastal emergency.

    The Environment Agency has issued three flood warnings for England’s south coast, as well as 35 flood alerts.

    Yellow snow warnings are also in place in northern England and Scotland, with blizzards and snowfall of up to 20cm causing treacherous conditions on roads at higher altitudes, the Met Office said.

    Commuters walking across London Bridge were wrapped up warm this morning ahead of Storm Barra, which is set to rampage towards the UK

    Commuters walking across London Bridge were wrapped up warm this morning ahead of Storm Barra, which is set to rampage towards the UK

    A colourful sunrise with a firesky on a bright morning over Wimbledon, South West London before Storm Barra is set to hit

    A colourful sunrise with a firesky on a bright morning over Wimbledon, South West London before Storm Barra is set to hit

    The storm is set to bring 80mph gales, blizzards and up to eight inches of snow to Britain within hours. Pictured: Commuters on London Bridge this morning

    The storm is set to bring 80mph gales, blizzards and up to eight inches of snow to Britain within hours. Pictured: Commuters on London Bridge this morning

    People cross London Bridge in cold conditions this morning amid warnings of ice, snow, rain and wind across the country

    People cross London Bridge in cold conditions this morning amid warnings of ice, snow, rain and wind across the country

    A colourful sunrise with a firesky on a bright morning over Wimbledon, South West London before Storm Barra is set to hit

    A colourful sunrise with a firesky on a bright morning over Wimbledon, South West London before Storm Barra is set to hit

    Commuters walking across London Bridge were wrapped up warm this morning ahead of Storm Barra, which is set to rampage towards the UK

    Commuters walking across London Bridge were wrapped up warm this morning ahead of Storm Barra, which is set to rampage towards the UK

    The sunrise behind Tower Bridge in London this morning, before harsh weather conditions are set to arrive in the UK

    The sunrise behind Tower Bridge in London this morning, before harsh weather conditions are set to arrive in the UK

    Commuters walking across London Bridge were wrapped up warm this morning ahead of Storm Barra, which is set to rampage towards the UK

    Commuters walking across London Bridge were wrapped up warm this morning ahead of Storm Barra, which is set to rampage towards the UK

    Weather warnings in force today

    Weather warnings in force for Wednesday

    The Met Office has issued a series of weather warnings for today (left) and Wednesday (right) as Storm Barra rampages towards the UK

    Huge wind gusts are expected on the western and southern coasts of England and Wales, accompanied by large waves that carry a 'small chance' of risk to life by throwing beach material onto sea front, coastal roads and properties, the Met Office said

    Huge wind gusts are expected on the western and southern coasts of England and Wales, accompanied by large waves that carry a ‘small chance’ of risk to life by throwing beach material onto sea front, coastal roads and properties, the Met Office said

    What is a weather bomb? 

    A ‘weather bomb’ – also known as an ‘explosive cyclogenesis’ by meteorologists – happens when there is a rapid fall in pressure in the central section of an area of low pressure.

    The level has to fall by 24 millibars in 24 hours in our latitudes to be classed as a ‘bomb’.

    The events happen when dry air from the stratosphere flows into an area of low pressure.

    This causes air within the depression to rise very fast and increases its rotation, which deepens the pressure and creates a more vigorous storm.

    They happen most frequently over sea near major warm ocean currents, such as the western Pacific Ocean near the Kuroshio Current, or over the north Atlantic Ocean near the Gulf Stream.

    There are estimated to be between 45 and 65 explosive cyclogenesis events a year and that more ‘bombs’ tend to occur in the northern hemisphere. 

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    In Ireland, schools have been told to keep their doors closed as a rare red warning was given for Cork, Kerry and Clare.

    Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said Storm Barra’s wind gusts and impacts ‘will be a notch down compared to Arwen’, which led to widespread power cuts on November 26 – some of which have not yet been restored.

    There are concerns that gale-force winds could make it more difficult for engineers to reconnect homes, though spokesman Stephen Dixon said winds would ‘gradually weaken’ as they move east and should have petered out by Thursday.

    But many can expect disruption today, as Exact Weather’s James Madden told the Sun: ‘Tuesday will see an extensive and rapidly deepening area of low pressure working its way northwards across the country initially bringing heavy rain and strong winds.

    ‘This will turn to snow as the storm system meets colder conditions across the UK.

    ‘With the storm coinciding with snow, we could see a ‘snow bomb’ effect where heavy snow erupts suddenly with stormy conditions.’

    A ‘weather bomb’ – also known as an ‘explosive cyclogenesis’ by meteorologists – happens when there is a rapid fall in pressure in the central section of an area of low pressure.

    The level has to fall by 24 millibars in 24 hours in our latitudes to be classed as a ‘bomb’.

    The events happen when dry air from the stratosphere flows into an area of low pressure.

    This causes air within the depression to rise very fast and increases its rotation, which deepens the pressure and creates a more vigorous storm.

    Following a call with the boss of Northern Powergrid, Phil Jones, the Prime Minister tweeted he had ‘asked for assurances that the energy supply companies were putting in place measures to limit any potential further disruption to households as a result of Storm Barra’.

    The energy minister, Greg Hands, said on Monday it was ‘completely unacceptable’ that around 1,600 households were still without power.

    Labour has accused the Government of treating people in Scotland and the north of England as ‘second-class citizens’.

    Residents in the affected areas said yesterday they were losing hope and feeling ‘fed up and angry’ as they faced an 11th night without electricity.

    A deadline set last Wednesday to restore power supply to all properties by the end of the week was missed.

    Man who’s endured 11 days without power after Arwen has ‘no hope’ left

    A man whose home has been affected by power cuts has said he has ‘no hope left at all’ as he faces an eleventh night without central heating.

    Stewart Sexton, who lives in Alnwick, Northumberland, is one of thousands of people still living without power in the aftermath of torrential rain and gale-force winds which battered the North East at the end of November.

    Storm Arwen affected power supplies to more than one million households 11 days ago, and Storm Barra threatens to bring further disruption as it moves in from the west tomorrow.

    Mr Sexton, 57, who lives with his partner, said Northern PowerGrid has promised his power will be restored within 24 hours every day since it cut on November 26.

    He said: ‘It’s exhausting, it’s wearing us down, and it’s a constant worry. Every day seems to bring a new problem. On day nine there was torrential rain and our village started to flood. That was mainly because of the storm debris.

    ‘What happened was that then flooded our village water works – it flooded our sewage system. Our neighbour couldn’t use his toilet without it flooding. I had to clear standing water from the road, which got my clothes wet, and then return to a house without heating.

    ‘From my window I can see a snapped telegraph pole and cables lying on the ground. The weather forecast is dreadful. We have not got any hope at all. It’s awful, it’s the futility of it.’

    Mr Sexton said he has been showering using water heated on a wood-burning stove in his living room, and by travelling 12 miles to his sister’s home.

    He said his village has had little support, with no sign of re-enforcements from the Army, fire service or council, and their main form of sustenance has been from a van providing free fish and chips at sporadic times over the weekend.

    Northern Powergrid has handed out survival packs, consisting of a small blanket, hot water bottle, mug, pair of socks, glove and hat – but ‘no logs, candles or batteries’, he added.

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