UK weather forecast: Met Office extends ‘danger to life’ warning for most of country

The Met Office is predicting 80mph winds and more than two inches of rain when Storm Gareth pummels the UK for 24 hours

The Met Office has extended its ‘danger to life’ weather warning to cover most of the UK as Britain braces for 80mph winds and heavy rain from Storm Gareth.

The yellow warning for strong winds covers Northern Ireland, Wales, most of England and parts of western Scotland for a 24-hour period from Tuesday afternoon.

Severe gales could reach 80mph in Northern Ireland as the system – officially named as Storm Gareth on Monday – spreads across the rest of the UK, threatening travel disruption and danger to life from flying debris, falling trees and large waves.

A heavy rain warning will be in place in the North West of England, where 60mm (2.4ins) could fall in less than 12 hours, triggering fears of flooding.

The forecaster has issued three separate severe weather warnings for Tuesday.

The first is for heavy rain in the North West of England, where flooding of a few homes, businesses and roads is likely, from 12.05am to 12pm.

The Met Office said: “A spell of heavy rain is expected to affect parts of northern England on Monday night before clearing eastward on Tuesday morning.

Falling onto already wet ground, 20-40mm of rainfall is expected quite widely with 50-60mm possible over higher ground in Cumbria.”

The second warning is for wind affecting Northern Ireland from 3pm on Tuesday to 12pm on Wednesday.

The warning reads: “A spell of strong northwesterly winds are expected across Northern Ireland for the evening travel period, continuing overnight and Wednesday morning.

“Gusts of up to 60mph are likely inland with a small chance of reaching 70mph for a time in squally showers.

“Gusts of 70-75mph are likely along northern coasts, perhaps up to 80mph for a time.

Winds will steadily ease through Wednesday morning.”

The third warning is for wind affecting Wales, most of England and western parts of Scotland.

The Met Office warned: “A spell of strong northwesterly winds is expected to develop across southwest Scotland late on Tuesday evening then extend across much of England and Wales through Wednesday.

Gusts of up to 50-55mph are likely inland and 65mph along western coasts.

Winds will gradually ease during the afternoon.”

The storm was named Gareth by Ireland’s meteorological service, which issued its own weather warnings on Monday.

Severe weather is expected to last all week.

A rain warning from 12.15am on Thursday to 10am on Friday covers Cumbria, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

As much as 100mm (4ins) of rain could fall on high ground.

The Met Office said: “Two periods of heavy rain will affect North West England on Thursday and Friday.

“This will bring 60-80mm as a total for both of these events, and there could be as much as 100mm on high ground.

Added to amounts that have already fallen in this rather wet and unsettled spell, these totals could cause some disruption to transport and localised flooding in this region.”

It comes after strong winds and snow wreaked havoc across the UK on Sunday.

Police closed a number of routes as gales hit the south and snow fell in the north.