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Storm Gerrit travel chaos warning as heavy rain and winds expected across UK

Drivers and rail travellers have been warned of delays and potentially hazardous conditions as the UK braces for Storm Gerrit.

The storm will bring strong winds and heavy rain to many parts of the UK on Wednesday, with wintry hazards also likely, forecasters warned.

Yellow warnings for wind are in place across the southern coast of England, north west England and Wales, as well as much of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

There are also weather warnings for rain across much of the country, with possible flooding to homes and businesses, power cuts and difficult driving conditions caused by Gerrit.

Heavy rain and snow may cause disruption across much of Scotland until 9pm, with winds of up to 70mph predicted on high ground and exposed coastland across the UK.

Rain in the warning areas is forecast to be between 4-6cm, with the potential for 7-9cm in the western hills of Wales and the western side of the Pennines.

People walking along the sea wall in Dawlish Warren, south Devon. Picture date: Sunday December 24, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story WEATHER Christmas. The UK has seen its warmest Christmas Eve in over 20 years. Temperatures in Heathrow, south-west London, hit 15.3C on Sunday, well above average for the time of year, making it the warmest December 24 since 1997. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Yellow warnings for rain, wind and snow have been issued for areas across the UK (Photo: Yui Mok/PA)

Network Rail Scotland warned passengers speed restrictions would be in place on Wednesday and to check for cancellations.

Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said the storm was named as a warning to people coming home after the Christmas holidays.

He said: “Due to the extent of the warnings that are being issued, it was deemed that a named storm would be a good idea because it will highlight to the public the risk associated, particularly as tomorrow is likely to be quite a busy day on the roads with people travelling back home from Christmas and things like that.”

A storm is named when it is deemed to have the potential to cause medium or high impact to the UK or Ireland.

Mr Partridge said wet and windy weather will cover “pretty much the whole of the UK”, with significant snowfall in parts of Scotland.

He said only the central section of the UK does not have a wind warning

“There are wind warnings out for the south of England, across the English Channel coast,” Mr Partridge added.

“But we also have wind warnings in force for parts of western Wales, north-west England, Northern Ireland, northern Scotland and the Northern Isles.”

Delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport are likely.

ScotRail customer operations director Phil Campbell said: “Unfortunately, we expect disruption to our services due to the adverse weather, and customers can expect some changes to their journeys.

“We will be working closely with our colleagues at Network Rail Scotland to ensure we are able to keep people moving as much as possible, but customers should also expect that their journeys will take longer than usual, and there could be some cancellations.”

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