Merseyside braced for strong winds as ex-hurricane Ophelia set to batter UK with 70mph winds

Former hurricane Ophelia is set to smash into the UK over the weekend bringing winds of up to 70mph and heavy rain, forecasters have warned.

Although the storm wont be a hurricane by the time it arrives, it will still bring gale force winds to parts of Ireland and the north west of the UK.

Ophelia will move past Portugal over the next few days, being fed by warmer waters as it approaches the UK.

Latest forecasts plot that the worst of the winds will hit Ireland, while Merseyside will see winds of around 40mph.

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The reason for Ophelia’s intensity is that milder air from Europe will warm up the UK over the next few days.

This is due to a shift in the Jet Stream moving to a more northerly position, allowing the warmer air from southern Europe to reach our shores.

Parts of the south will see temperatures reach 23C, while Merseyside could see temps reach 20C on Saturday and Sunday, making it quite warm for the time of year.

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The arrival of Ophelia comes on the 30th anniversary of the great storm of 1987, which hit southern England overnight on 15 October.

The storm caused over £1bn of damage and killed 18 people, however, Ophelia is unlikely to have the same impact.

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