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Warnings as strong winds lash UK


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Holiday-makers brave stormy weather in Weston-super-Mare

Gale force winds are battering England and Wales while heavy rain threatens flooding.

The Met Office has issued weather warnings for wind across south-west England, the Midlands and the South East, and for wind and rain in Wales.

Flood warnings and alerts are in place for Wales and southern England as the weather system moves east.

Near Tavistock in Devon, three people escaped unharmed after their car was crushed by a fallen tree.

Winds could reach 40-50mph inland, while the south Wales coast, the Bristol Channel and the south coast could see gusts of up to 65 mph with the threat of some disruption including fallen trees. forecasters warned.

One gust of 82mph has been recorded at the Needles on the western tip of the Isle of Wight, BBC weather said.

BBC weather forecaster Laura Gilchrist said: “This weather would not be unusual in October or November, but as it’s coming in June the trees are more in leaf and people are carrying out more outdoor activities than then, so there’s more risk of disruption than at other times of the year.”

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There is also the potential for high waves as the wind funnels through the Bristol Channel.

Met Office spokesman Charlie Powell said: “It is possible there could be up to three inches of rain in hilly and mountainous areas of Wales, with lower but still substantial rainfall in more low-lying areas.”

  • In Wales, high winds have forced the postponement of races in the Canoe Slalom World Cup in Cardiff Bay. Competitors from 38 countries were due to take part in the pre-Olympic event at the white water centre
  • Ferry services to the Isle of Wight have been suspended due to high winds
  • In the south west, uprooted trees have brought down cables, leaving 300 homes without power and the Plymouth lifeboat has been sent to rescue a fishing boat near the Eddystone Rocks off Rame Head in Cornwall
  • In the south east, a ship which took part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant has been blown off her moorings in Kent
  • The 181st Suffolk Show near Ipswich has been cancelled due to safety concerns over the weather
  • Bournemouth Pier has been closed due to high winds

There is brighter news for the weekend, as the weather is set to improve for Saturday, feeling much warmer and with sunny spells.

The positioning of the jetstream [a fast-flowing air current in the upper atmosphere] is to blame for such wintry weather in June, Ms Gilchrist said.

“It should be further north. It’s taken a little bit of a dip south, which is allowing weather systems to develop across the UK, but it has the potential to move back again,” she said.

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UK forecast for 08/06/2012

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More details from BBC Weather
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