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Storm Pia could disrupt Christmas travel plans with high winds across the UK

20 Dec 2023 2 minute read
Travel disruption is expected over the festive period.

The Met Office has issued a weather warning as high winds were forecast to batter the northern half of the UK on Thursday, bringing the potential for travel disruption in the run-up to Christmas.

An area of low pressure well to the north of the UK will bring winds of 70-80mph in northern Scotland, 65-70mph on high ground, and 45-55mph elsewhere in North Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England north from Birmingham as well as the top half of East Anglia.

Power cuts

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind from midnight to 9pm on Thursday, meaning travel disruption is likely, power cuts are possible, high-sided vehicles could be affected on exposed roads and coastal routes could be sprayed by high waves.

The low pressure system has been named Storm Pia by the Danish authorities, but it was not expected to be severe enough in the UK to warrant being officially named.

Stephen Dixon, a Met Office spokesperson, said: “It is quite a wide wind warning area. Gusts are forecast quite widely to be 45-55mph, possibly 65-70mph to the east of high ground in Scotland.

“The strongest winds are likely to be found in the north and north east of Scotland including the Northern Isles, with 70-80mph in the morning.”


The Met Office forecast showers along with the wind, with more rain expected on Friday.

Looking ahead, Mr Dixon said there was the possibility of snow on Christmas Day but only in the far north of Scotland.

“It looks like there will be a drier afternoon in the south of the UK for those post-Christmas dinner walks,” he said.

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