STORM Freya is set to hammer Britain today with 90mph winds and heavy rain threatening horrendous flash floods and widespread travel chaos.
The 500-mile-wide storm system will sweep in off the Atlantic this afternoon – leading the Met Office to issue a “danger to life” yellow weather warning for much of the UK.
Strong gusts could send debris like roof tiles and branches flying – while road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected by monster winds, forecasters warned.
Met Office forecaster Emma Smith said: “Freya is bringing a real change after the warmest February on record.
“Be prepared for problems with travel including delayed trains, planes and road journeys, and the risk of coastal and river flooding in the South-West.
“Wind gusts of up to 80mph are expected, with a low chance of over 80mph, with the strongest winds moving from the South-West on Sunday to the North into Monday, and even 50-60mph gusts on South-East coasts.
Snow is a risk early Monday on the Peak District, Pennines, and hills in Wales and southern Scotland.
“Freya’s air pressure is falling from 999mb at midnight Saturday to 972mb by midnight Sunday.”
A yellow weather warning is in place in Northern, Central and South West England and Wales from 3pm on Sunday to 6am on Monday.
The Met Office’s yellow warning reads: “Storm Freya will bring very strong winds, with some travel disruption and possible dangerous conditions late Sunday and into Monday.
“Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible. Some damage to buildings and trees such as tiles blown from roofs and fallen branches could happen.
“Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible. Some roads and bridges may close.
Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.
“Injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.”
A glimmer of good news for weather watchers will be that temperatures should hold up around the high single-figures – and possibly reach the low teens in parts.
Forecasters at Meteogroup said of Sunday’s weather: “In the morning, it will be overcast with outbreaks of rain for most of England and Wales, some heavy, and northern Scotland will be cloudy with showers.
Southern Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England will be mostly dry and bright.
“The afternoon will be wet for many areas.
“An increasingly windy day in the south and west with gales in some areas by the afternoon and evening.”