Storm Bella set to batter Wirral on Boxing Day as 80 mph winds forecast

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Storm Bella has officially been named as strong winds and heavy rain are forecast from 26 December

After a relativity calm and cold day on Christmas Day, conditions across the UK will turn increasingly unsettled through Saturday 26 December and into the 27 December with strengthening winds and heavy rain moving in from the north.

An Amber national severe weather warning has been issued for parts of south Wales and across southern England, with gusts expected to reach up to 60-70mph in exposed coastal locations.

A Yellow warning for wind for the whole of England and Wales as well as the far south of Scotland has also been issued and will be in force from 15:00 on 26 December to 12:00 on 27 December.

The strong south-westerly winds will develop across parts of northern England and the far south of Scotland on Saturday afternoon, before transferring south-eastwards across the rest of England and Wales into Sunday morning, clearing by early Sunday afternoon.

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Inland gusts of 50-60 mph are likely, with the potential for 60-70 mph in some locations. Hills and coasts exposed to the south-westerly winds could see gusts of 70-80 mph.

The Met Office warn that the severe weather could cause damage to buildings, power cuts, and large waves at the coast could be a danger to life.

Heavy rain is also forecast to batter the region during Boxing Day evening leading to some hazardous travelling conditions.

Deputy Chief Meteorologist Tony Wardle, said: “Conditions will turn very unsettled after Christmas day, with a large area of low pressure sweeping across the UK from Boxing Day. Very strong winds will impact much of England and Wales, with particularly strong gusts on south west facing coasts.

“Heavy rain will also move in from the north, with heavy downpours through the afternoon in Scotland and Northern Ireland moving south across England and Wales overnight.

“This will be a notable change from the calmer conditions over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so take extra care and stay up to date with the latest forecast.”

The strongest winds and heaviest rain will ease from the northwest on Sunday afternoon although conditions will remain blustery with showers in the west and some of these turning to snow in northwest Scotland.

With cold air feeding in from the north, there is the continued chance of wintry precipitation through Monday and Tuesday, particularly over high ground in the north of the UK.

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