The relatively tame run-up to Christmas in regards to the weather this Autumn and Winter is about to be blown away, with wetter and windier weather impending.
People in the north of the UK, are about to be visited by a far less jolly festive guest in the sky, and one delivering only disruption rather than cheer and presents: Barbara.
The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for Scotland and large areas of northern England and Northern Ireland for this Friday and Christmas Eve.
‘Be prepared’ (Amber) warnings have been put in place with just a few days notice for the nation’s festive travel plans, with 3.8 million people expected to take to the roads Christmas Eve alone.
Storm Barbara is supposed to arrive with 55mph this Wednesday, rising to 90mph in the run up to Christmas, caused by a fast-moving pocket of air high in the atmosphere that is steering low pressure around. Barbara is gathering pace in the Atlantic, with the full force striking on Friday.
The Met Office are warning against the potential for disrupted travel with ferries, trains, flights and bridges, issues with power supplies as well as structural damage, suggesting people to review their immediate travel plans:
— Met Office (@metoffice) December 20, 2016
Barbara is the second storm for the UK and Ireland’ 2016-17 windstorm season (hence the ‘B’), with storm Angus striking mid-November. The UK Met Office in collaboration with the Irish equivalent Met Éireann decided to introduce the naming system similar to the one seen in Northern America in 2013 following the St Jude’s day storm in October 2013 which caused 17 deaths in Europe.
Last year’s storm naming highlights included Desmond and Gertrude, with Vernon and Wendy penciled in but not required. Barbara joins Angus this year, with the likes of Malcolm and Valerie potentially set for later in the season in 2017.