BBC Weather: Carol Kirkwood warns of 10cm of snow
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The Met Office has issued weather warnings spanning the whole of the UK as Storm Barra promises travel chaos and power outages from strong winds and snow. Winds gusting up to 70mph (110km/h) are expected in parts, while up to four inches (10cm) of snow is expected to accumulate rapidly. Storm Barra, a deep area of low pressure moving in from the Atlantic and the second named storm of the season after Storm Arwen.
What time will Storm Barra hit?
The Met Office has imposed warnings for wind from 9am on Tuesday morning, covering the vast majority of the British Isles.
The agency said these winds will move “into the west through the morning, spreading inland and reaching eastern areas through the afternoon and early evening”.
Gusts of 45-50mph are expected widely, with 60-70mph in exposed coastal locations.
The Met Office said: “Strongest winds will ease across inland areas into the overnight period.”
Snow warnings are in place from 11am on Tuesday, when rain will turn into a thick blanket of snow, expected to suddenly spread northwards across central and northern England into Scotland throughout Tuesday.
By Wednesday, calm will have been restored for much of the UK, though wind warnings will remain in place across Wales and parts of southwest England into Wednesday evening.
All warnings will have expired by Thursday, though conditions are expected to remain chilly and grey.
Meanwhile, more than 3,000 homes in Scotland and northeast England remain without hot water or heating following Storm Arwen as authorities race to reconnect properties before the next storm hits.
In its most recent update, the Energy Networks Association said that 3,190 homes were waiting to be reconnected as of 2pm on Sunday, down from 4,025 homes on Sunday morning.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said power was restored to all 135,000 of its affected customers by Sunday evening.
A spokesman for the Energy Networks Association said operators were “working together” to prepare for the storm.
He added: “We’re monitoring forecasts regularly, coordinating response plans and preparing to share resources if required.”
Nearly 300 military personnel from the British Army and Royal Marines were deployed to offer support, and have been conducting door-to-door checks on vulnerable people in their homes.
Meanwhile, anger has grown about the length of time many homes have been without power since Storm Arwen, with shadow environment secretary Jim McMahon saying it “beggars belief” that restoring power had not been considered a “national priority”.
During a visit to a Northern Powergrid call centre in Penshaw near Sunderland, the energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, warned power firms the Government will review their operations.
He said: “I think we can make the system a lot more resilient. We will have a review, we will see if the distributor companies have enough infrastructure, we may even have enforcement action if necessary.”
After visiting crews working in Weardale, County Durham, the energy secretary said engineers have been working in freezing temperatures to restore power supplies.
He said: “There are very challenging conditions. There’s lots of ice, sleet, snow and it’s very difficult for the engineers to get vital infrastructure up and ready.
“Some of the communications have not been brilliant. It’s very difficult in a centre or hub like this to know what’s going on on the ground, but I think that’s improving.
“I think the engineers are doing a fantastic job, we have got the army out as well and they are all pulling together very effectively, but there are still a few hundred people who are still off power and I think that’s really unacceptable.”
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