Met Office issues warning as Storm Barbara heads our way for Christmas getaway

By Emma Gunby at

After recent relatively quiet and dry conditions, much more unsettled weather is heading our way in the lead-up to Christmas with the second named storm of the season, Storm Barbara, expected on Friday.

As many plan festive visits to friends and family this week, the weather is getting more disturbed.

A yellow wind warning has been issued for Merseyside on Friday (23 December) with gusts of 60 to 70 mph expected. Winds will then ease on Saturday morning.

Storm Clodagh batters West Kirby promenade

Storm Clodagh batters West Kirby promenade in January 2016

Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Chris Tubbs said: “Storm Barbara is forecast to form in the west Atlantic on Wednesday and will pass close to the northwest of the UK during Friday, bringing very strong winds and heavy rain, especially across the north and west of Scotland. This brings the potential for some structural damage, disruption to power supplies and travel, with restrictions on bridges and disruption to ferries likely.

“The disturbed conditions look like continuing through Christmas weekend with another vigorous low pressure system waiting in the wings. So, whatever your plans over the next few days it’s worthwhile staying up to date with the latest Met Office forecasts, which is easy to do on our app.”

The wet and windy weather, which is as a result of a succession of deep Atlantic low pressure systems, gets underway today (20 December) with the northwest expecting a band of rain, heavy at times.

RAC Traffic Watch spokesman Rod Dennis said: “The weather is taking a decided turn for the worse as we near Christmas itself, and drivers are going to need to be on their guard.

“Heavy downpours and extremely gusty winds will join forces to make the going tough for anyone driving on Friday especially. Early indications are that more storms could also roll in in the days to come.

“Anyone wanting to avoid the worst conditions on the roads should look for the calmer weather windows – right now, Thursday and the afternoon of Christmas Eve look better, but we urge drivers to keep a close eye on the forecast and plan any longer trips carefully.”