Strong winds have been causing travel disruption to parts of the UK as Storm Ciara approaches.
Weather warnings have been issued for this weekend as the storm, set to be the most intense in Britain since 2013, is expected to bring 80mph winds and heavy rain – with impacts felt “across the whole of the UK” on Sunday.
The Met Office has an amber warning for wind in place for much of England and Wales from 8am until 9pm, and an amber warning for rain covering parts of Scotland, while yellow warnings cover the whole UK.
— Met Office (@metoffice) February 8, 2020
Ciara has already made its presence felt in parts of the country, as strong winds brought down the roof of a pub and injured three people in Perth in Scotland on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, a strong winter storm, named Sabine in Germany, began making its way across northern Europe.
Airline KLM cancels 40 flights
The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI) issued code yellow, which means lots of rain and heavy wind gusts, for the whole country from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning.
Weather bureau KNMI has issued a code orange weather warning for the whole of the Netherlands for Sunday afternoon, forecasting that winds of up to 120kph will batter coastal areas as Storm Ciara hits.
The Dutch football association has cancelled all Sunday’s matches, saying it would be irresponsible to let the players on the pitch and ask fans to make their journeys to the games. The KNVB will decide next week when to make time for the lost fixtures.
Airline KLM has cancelled 40 flights – 20 incoming and 20 outgoing – and travellers who have been affected can change their trip until February 18 without extra costs.
The German Meteorological Service (DWD) said Sabine was expected to batter the country’s northwest from mid-morning Sunday, and then gradually travel south across central Germany towards Bavaria.
“Overnight into Monday morning the storm will reach southern Germany,” Jens Hoffmann, meteorologist at the German Weather Service, told DW. “We expect that there will be heavy gusts of wind in the lowlands, or even hurricane-strength gusts in the low mountain ranges and also in the Alps.”
He added that the storm shouldn’t be underestimated, and that people should avoid traveling and going outdoors.
“Looking at Sabine’s structure, it’s a remarkable storm,” he said. “We mustn’t forget that this is a longer-lasting event. You can’t think: ‘It’s Monday morning, the front has passed.’ That’s not right — it’ll continue.”