Storm Bella looms as strong winds and heavy rain set to batter Lancashire on Boxing Day

Two yellow weather warnings have been issued on Boxing Day, with Storm Bella forecast to bring strong winds and heavy rain to Lancashire.

Thursday, 24th December 2020, 3:35 pm

Meteorologists have warned the extreme weather - which will follow a "relatively calm and cold" Christmas Day - may result in "injuries and danger to life" due to large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.

Winds of up to 70mph have been predicted to hit certain areas of the country, with hills and coasts exposed to the southwesterly winds expected to see gusts of up to 80 mph.

15-25mm of rain is also likely to fall widely across the county, with the potential for "40-60mm over some hills", bringing a "small chance" homes and businesses could be flooded.

The Met Office added power cuts and travel disruption could occur, and damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs, is possible.

Deputy Chief Meteorologist Tony Wardle, said: "Conditions will turn very unsettled after Christmas day, with a large area of low pressure sweeping across the UK from Boxing Day. Very strong winds will impact much of England and Wales, with particularly strong gusts on south west facing coasts.

"Heavy rain will also move in from the north, with heavy downpours through the afternoon in Scotland and Northern Ireland moving south across England and Wales overnight. This will be a notable change from the calmer conditions over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so take extra care and stay up to date with the latest forecast."

Covering the whole county, the yellow warning for wind runs from 3pm on Saturday, December 26 until midday on Sunday, December 27.

Meteorologists have warned the extreme weather may result in "injuries and danger to life" due to large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts.

The yellow weather warning for rain runs from 6pm on December 26 until 9am on December 27.

"An area of strong southwesterly winds will develop across parts of northern England and the far south of Scotland on Saturday afternoon, before transferring southeastwards across the rest of England and Wales into Sunday morning, clearing by early Sunday afternoon," a spokesman for the Met Office added.

"Inland gusts of 50-60 mph are likely, with the potential for 60-70 mph in some locations. Hills and coasts exposed to the southwesterly winds could see gusts of 70-80 mph.

"In addition to the strong winds, a period of heavy, squally rain will affect western and southern areas. Combined with strong winds, the rain will lead to some hazardous travelling conditions."

Here is the full Met Office weather forecast for Lancashire:

Today (December 24):

A dry, bright day for most, with plenty of sunshine and some morning frost. Patchy rain possible for eastern parts through the morning, with some cloud developing later on. Feeling markedly colder than of late, with blustery winds. Maximum temperature 4 °C.

Tonight (December 24):

Remaining dry through the evening and overnight. It will be very cold, with clear skies allowing for a widespread harsh frost. Becoming less windy. Minimum temperature -5 °C.

Friday (December 25):

It will be a cold, frosty start to Christmas Day, with some sunny spells. Remaining mostly dry throughout, but cloud will build from the north as the day goes on. Maximum temperature 6 °C.

Outlook for Saturday to Monday (December 26 -28):

Wet and very windy Boxing Day, with inland and coastal gales. Strong winds and wintry conditions continue for Sunday and Monday, accompanied by heavy and possibly thundery showers. Cold.

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