Met Office issues Hurricane Helene weather warning as 80mph gales set to batter Britain
The storm is currently sitting in the mid-Atlantic on the heels of the catastrophic Hurricane Florence that is battering the southeast of the United States.
But Helene began its course towards Britain yesterday — pivoting north east and making a beeline for Blighty.
Dramatic forecast images from the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) shows how Helene will sweep in to the south west of the British Isles from Monday night.
The Hurricane was yesterday located about 1,285 miles southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour.
It is expected to lose power slightly by the time it reaches Britain — but it will still be classed as a powerful Tropical Storm.
This means potentially destructive winds along with storm surges and heavy rain pounding our shores at the beginning of next week.
The Met Office said wind speeds would reach 80mph as it issued a Yellow weather warning for South West England, North West England, Wales and Northern Ireland for Tuesday.
The warning read: "Storm Helene is expected to bring a period of very strong winds to western parts of the UK late Monday and for a time on Tuesday.
Yellow weather warning: What to expect when Helene hits
- Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible.
- Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible.
- Some roads and bridges may close. Fallen trees may be an additional hazard.
- There is a small chance that injuries could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts.
- There is a chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage
"Storm Helene is expected to push north-east towards the UK late Monday, before clearing quickly to the north of Scotland through Tuesday morning.
"There remains large uncertainty in Helene's exact track, however a spell of very strong winds is expected, initially for parts of south-west England and west Wales, then later south-west Scotland and the south-east of Northern Ireland.
"Winds are likely to gust to 55-65 mph quite widely in the warning area, with possible gusts of 70-80 mph in exposure."
Earlier, Nicky Maxey from the Met Office told The Sun Online: "There is currently a wide model spread on the exact track — but Helene is heading for Britain.
"A Yellow warning will be issued for winds — just to make people aware that there's a risk.
"The colour might change as we get closer to the time.
"The western side of the country could really bear the brunt.
"It's bringing gale-force winds and fairly heavy rain in places, so it will feel close and muggy."
A spokesperson for The Weather Channel said: “The uncertainty in the forecast remains on Tuesday.
“There will be a dry and sunny start for England and Wales.
"Overcast with moderate to heavy rain for south-west England, Wales, Ireland, north-west England and Scotland with fresh to strong and gusty southerly winds through the afternoon and evening."
Warning of the strength of the gales, the spokesperson added: "There is a risk winds could be damaging winds over south-west England through the evening but confidence is low.”
But a silver lining can be found in the temperatures — which are are predicted to soar as Britain's Indian summer continues.
Experts say the south east could turn "very warm" next week — and the influence of Helene will only add to this unseasonable balminess.
Mrs Maxey told The Sun Online yesterday that Helene will "inject a bit more energy, heat and warmth into the system".
The Weather Company added: “Warmer and more humid air from the south will lift temperatures between 21 to 27C but 18 to 24C across the north."
The more unsettled weather will come after weekend temperatures as high as 23C in southern England.
Conditions will be cooler with highs of 19C in the Midlands and lows of 13C in northern Scotland.
A Met Office spokesman said: “It will reach 22C and possibly 23C in the South by Saturday and Sunday.
“But generally conditions are quite average for this time of year.”
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