Storm Isha is set to blow in and batter Lancashire this afternoon (January 21) with heavy rain and winds of up to 70mph.
Several weather alerts are in place across the county. Two amber warnings for strong winds cover the whole of the region, both begin at 6pm and last until 6am on Monday (January 22). One of these covers the south of Lancashire, and the other north extending up through Cumbria and into Scotland.
Both are similar in terms of danger, but northern parts of the county are expected to be exposed to the worst of Storm Isha.. A yellow alert for rain is also in place for north-eastern parts of the county – and this came into place at midnight today.
What started as a blustery day is expected to become worse across all of the county this evening, particularly in coastal areas. Forecasters predict there will be gusts of up to 70mph in some places as Storm Isha hits.
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Today (January 21), an new – and fourth – alert has also been issued for later in the week. From Tuesday at 4pm (January 23), through to Wednesday at midday (January 24). strong winds are expected to continue to bring disruption across the region. THis is a yellow warning.
While the amber warning is in place over the weekend, damage to homes and buildings is possible. Residents are advised to stay indoors during the strongest of the wind. Flying debris could cause injury and result in danger to life in some areas.
Roads and public transport routes, such as railway lines, may close. Passengers are told to expect cancellations.
There may be power cuts in some areas, which may in turn lead to loss of mobile phone coverage. In coastal areas such as Blackpool, there is the potential for large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, roads and properties
A spokesperson for the Met Office said: “After a generally windy day on Sunday, winds are likely to increase further during the evening and overnight, this increase reaching Northern Ireland first. Winds are likely to gust to 60 to 70 mph quite widely in inland areas, and 70 to 80 mph around coasts. However there is the possibility of a narrower swathe of even stronger winds crossing parts of the warning area, with gusts of 70 to 80 mph possible inland and perhaps peaking around 90 mph in exposed coastal and hilly areas – this is perhaps more likely across parts of Scotland.
“Winds will subside during the early hours across Northern Ireland, and across the rest of the area on Monday morning, although staying windy and gusty.
“Prepare to protect your property and people from injury. Check for loose items outside your home and plan how you could secure them. Items include; bins, garden furniture, trampolines, tents, sheds and fences. Windy weather can cause delays and make travel conditions dangerous.
“Check bus and train timetables, amending your travel plans if necessary. If driving, check road conditions and ensure you have essentials in your car (warm clothing, food, water, a blanket, a torch, an in-car phone charger). People cope better with power cuts when they have prepared for them in advance. It’s easy to do; consider gathering torches and batteries, a mobile phone power pack and other essential items. If you are on the coast, stay safe during stormy weather by being aware of large waves, even from the shore large breaking waves can sweep you off your feet and out to sea. Take care if walking near cliffs; know your route and keep dogs on a lead. In an emergency, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Be prepared for weather warnings to change quickly: when a weather warning is issued, the Met Office recommends staying up to date with the weather forecast in your area.”
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