18 August 2023

Storm Betty weather warning for UK ahead of heavy rain and gale-force winds

18 August 2023

Storm Betty is set to bring strong winds and trigger heavy rain on Friday in the second named storm in August.

Met Éireann have named the storm as a low-pressure system which is also triggering warnings in the UK.

Storm Betty is to hit the Republic of Ireland, before it moves from the south of Ireland to the north on Friday and into Saturday, the forecasters say.

Met Office chief meteorologist Jason Kelly said: “Friday and Saturday will see unseasonably wet and windy conditions for much of the UK.

“While Storm Betty will have higher impacts in Ireland, exposed Irish Sea coasts of the UK could see gusts in excess of 70mph, with around 50mph more widely.

“Storm Betty is also bringing some large accumulations of rainfall for the time of year, with some spots of Northern Ireland seeing around 80mm of rain, though between 15-25mm is expected more widely. Parts of Scotland could see similarly high accumulations, especially over higher ground.”

Betty is the second storm named in August, following Storm Antoni which occurred earlier this month.

This is the second time since storm naming was introduced in 2015 that two storms have been named in August, following Ellen and Francis in August 2020.

A Met Office yellow thunderstorm warning, covering London and the South-East, East Midlands and east of England from 8pm on Friday to 5am on Saturday, said people could face possible flooding and disruption on Friday night.

Heavy and thundery rain will spread across many parts of the UK on Friday night with the potential for some large hail, especially in East Anglia, Kent and East Sussex.

A yellow weather warning for wind said people should be aware that the very strong and gusty winds, associated with Storm Betty, could bring some disruption to transport, travel and temporary infrastructure.

It stated: “Storm Betty is expected to bring a swathe of very strong and gusty winds to the Isles of Scilly early Friday evening, quickly transferring north across many western parts of the UK overnight and into Saturday morning. Strongest winds will be along south to south-west-facing coasts where gusts of 60-70mph are possible, whilst gusts of 45-55 mph are possible elsewhere.”

Given the time of year, with trees in full leaf, as well as likely temporary structures such as tents and marquees, some disruption is likely. Impacts on high-sided vehicles and caravans are also likely.

Mr Kelly  added: “While many within the thunderstorm warning areas may see relatively little rainfall, there is the potential for a few places to see around 20-40mm of rain within an hour, and possibly around 40-60mm over three hours.

“Large hail and frequent lightning are additional hazards for the likely overnight thunderstorms in eastern areas of England.”

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