Emergency services across Lincolnshire are preparing for the impact and serious damage which may be caused by the strongest winds to be forecast since 1987.
Forecasts suggest a low pressure storm system will rapidly deepen just to the south west of the UK during Sunday, before moving across the country throughout Monday, October 28.
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This could bring gusts of 60-80mph quite widely across Lincolnshire, with gusts of more than 80mph possible in places near the exposed coast.
Winds of this strength could bring down trees or cause structural damage, potentially causing transport disruption or power cuts, the Met Office said.
20 to 40 mm of rain may fall within 6 to 9 hours, leading to localised flooding, especially where drainage is impeded by wind-blown debris.
Head of Specialist Operations for Lincolnshire Police, Superintendent Shaun West said the Met Office is predicting even stronger winds than 80 mph over high ground, including the Lincolnshire Wolds.
“In the context of public safety this is of great concern and that is why we are mobilising representatives of all the emergency services overnight Sunday so that we are in a position to deal with matters and protect as far as we can, life and property.
“If this severe weather hits as predicted, there will also be a great responsibility on everyone to protect themselves and each other.”
The multi-agency Lincolnshire Resilience Forum is urging everyone to ensure people and pets are safely indoors and that potential hazards, which may blow around and cause further damage or injury, are secured.
The Lincolnite will keep you updated on further warnings, road closures and advisories from the emergency services throughout Sunday and Monday.
Steve Willington, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: “We are talking about a storm which doesn’t yet exist, so there remains some uncertainty about its possible timing, track and strength. However, several forecast models currently suggest we will see a significant storm with exceptionally strong winds impacting parts of England and Wales.”
Martin Hobbs, Head of Asset Resilience at the Highways Agency, added: “Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close certain bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signposted diversion routes.”
Severe weather considerations
If the weather is as severe as predicted, there are a number of things people will need to consider, the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum said.
- Consider the impact of the weather on travel – you may face significant disruption if you are attempting to get to work on Monday morning or attempting to get your children to school. Schools may even need to remain closed on Monday.
- If the weather deteriorates as predicted over Sunday night, roads may become blocked by fallen branches and trees and consequently become severely congested.
- The wind may be severe enough to blow over high-sided vehicles and caravans and blow off-course, motor cycles, pedal cycles – simply make a judgement not to venture out if the weather is severe.
- As well as going to work, safety at work will be an issue if you are having to work outside – is that work really necessary?
- Be aware of the danger of falling masonry; falling trees or branches; potentially unsafe walls and buildings; fallen power lines – they can get blown about and if they are live they could be lethal!
- The emphasis at this stage is on strong winds and rain and any suggestion of flooding is premature.
Why the storm is not a hurricane
The Met Office explained on its blog that “much coverage of the storm heading our way later this weekend mentions it being a ‘hurricane’. This is not strictly correct as we don’t get hurricanes in the UK.
“Hurricanes are warm latitude storms; they draw their energy from warm seas and can only begin to form where the ocean is warmer than 26 degrees Celsius or so, and can really only become a major storm when the sea is warmer than 28 degrees Celsius. That’s like a warm bath, so you won’t find one around the UK anytime soon.
“The storm which is due to develop tomorrow night and affect the UK during Monday is a mid latitude storm, the sort which affect us through the autumn and winter. These are formed in a very different way – by the meeting of different air masses on what is known as the polar front, leading to low pressure (storms) forming, often around the latitude of the UK.”