Sunday, July 21

Prepare for barrage of storms in February as freeze gives way to dramatic wind and rain



Britain’s big freeze will give way to a barrage of storms set to unleash heavy downpours and gales from next week.

Cold conditions from the Continent will finally lift allowing milder but much more unsettled weather to swing in from the Atlantic.

A dramatic u-turn in the weather at the end of this month with trigger storms through into February, experts warn.

The Met Office said a change to more unsettled conditions will arrive this weekend with heavy rain and gales on the way for some.

It follows a bitter, foggy, and icy fortnight which has brought chaos on the roads and transport networks to parts of Britain.

Thermometers plunged below freezing across the south this week while temperatures in the north hit 13C on Thursday.

Much of the UK will start to feel milder in the coming days as wind and rain give crisp, calm conditions the heave-ho.

AccuWeather forecaster Eric Leister warned a significant change is afoot with February likely to bring the next named storm of the season.

He said: A shift in the overall weather pattern will bring the return of potent Atlantic storms to the United Kingdom from late January into February.

This expected outbreak of storms will be a significant change from what has occurred across the UK so far this year.

A dominating area of high pressure has been centred over central and western Europe during much of January, shielding the UK from any significant storm systems.

There have been no named windstorms during the month of January.

However, this pattern change will likely yield multiple named storms during the month of February.

He said powerful gales will bring widespread impacts including flooding, damage to trees and buildings and travel chaos.

Storms will continue to unleash havoc into the start of next month as Atlantic weather patterns take hold, he added.

The strongest storms are expected to bring impacts ranging from damaging winds and flooding to travel disruption, he said.

While all of the UK will notice an increase in stormy weather, the degree of impacts will vary across the country.

The high frequency of these storms will also lead to an increased risk for river and stream flooding as areas get repeated rounds of rainfall.

The barrage of storms will continue into the middle of February.

Fellow AccuWeather forecaster Tyler Roys added: “The most frequent and significant impacts are expected across western and southern areas.

Significant coastal flooding will be possible in several of these storms.

Autumn and winter have been relatively quiet with just three serious storms prompting the The Met Office to issue names Angus, Barbara and Conor.

Systems are given a handle depending on their strength and expected impact with the next in the series to be called Doris.

The Met Office said a mixed weekend will bring rain and gales to parts as unsettled conditions take hold.

Spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said: “Although there will be a tendency towards milder conditions this weekend it will start to turn more changeable.

Many people will see rain at some point on Saturday and over the high ground in the north there is the chance of showers turning wintry.

It is a similar picture for Sunday as and we go through next week we have an unsettled band of persistent rain which could bring wind across many areas, and gales at times.

We are looking at a general change to more unsettled conditions coming in from the Atlantic, there are a series of weather fronts coming through over the next week.