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Dangerous winds, snow come to the UK with Storm Caroline

iStock/Thinkstock
iStock/Thinkstock

(LONDON) — A large storm system named Caroline is moving to the north of the United Kingdom Thursday, with fierce and possibly life-threatening winds that are gusting more than 90 mph.

The U.K.’s national weather service, The Met Office, issued Amber National Severe Weather Warnings from Scotland to northern Ireland.

“Storm Caroline is well on its way across northern parts of the U.K.,” Met Office meteorologist John West said. “There will be devastating winds in some parts. More broadly across Scotland there will be 60 to 70 mph gusts, but in exposed areas we could see 90 mph.”

So far, the highest wind measured so far was in Scotland’s Shetland Isles, at 93 mph. Winds are expected to ease in the west, with the strongest winds confined to the Northern Isles in the evening, The Met Office Chief Meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said.

The strong winds may affect Scotland’s road, rail, air and ferry services.

“We would urge people to check with their operators before they travel, especially if they are planning a ferry journey,” Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said. “There may also be bridge restrictions, particularly for high-sided vehicles, and we would urge road users to check the latest information on wind thresholds on the Traffic Scotland website.”

Flying debris could be an issue and damage to buildings, such as tiles blowing off roofs, is possible. Some short-term loss of power and effects on other services is possible and some coastal routes, sea fronts and communities are likely to be affected by spray or large waves.

Snow is expected as Storm Caroline moves away from the U.K. later on Thursday and through Friday, allowing winds from the northwest to spread across the U.K., bringing much colder air.

Thursday evening, snow showers will become increasingly frequent and heavy across northern Scotland.

Friday will bring severe snow and ice conditions. The Met Office has also issued a Yellow National Severe Weather Warning for snow and ice for much of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and parts of northern and western England for Friday — 1-3 inches of snow is likely fairly widely, with 4 to 8 inches in more northern areas. Icy surfaces are also likely to be an additional hazard, especially overnight and during the morning. Strong northwest winds may cause some blizzard conditions across northern Scotland.

By Saturday, the heaviest and most frequent of the snow showers will become more confined to northeast Scotland.

Storm Caroline will be the third named storm of the season for the U.K., following Storm Brian that affected southern and western parts of Britain and Ireland on Oct. 21.

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