Heavy rain and strong winds are set to hit North Lancashire when a major storm batters the UK.
A Met Office yellow weather alert for both wind and rain has been issued for North West England from late Sunday night and throughout all of Monday. The warning, which includes Lancashire and Cumbria, means people are urged to be aware of the conditions and prepare for disruption.
Persistent and intense rainfall is likely to spread northeastwards with road flooding possible.
Current forecasts suggest the south west of England will be hit by the worst of the storm, which could be the most severe since 1987, with winds of up to 80mph predicted. But the Met Office said there is a risk of the weather system changing paths and its forecasts are being constantly updated. The alternative track it could take is right through Morecambe Bay, although forecasters say the risk of this shift is only ‘moderate’.
Steve Willington, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “We are talking about a storm which doesn’t yet exist, so there remains some uncertainty about its possible timing, track and strength. “However, several forecasts models currently suggest we will see a significant storm with exceptionally strong winds impacting parts of England and Wales.
“This is a developing situation and we’d advise people to stay up to date with our forecasts and warnings over the weekend, and be prepared to change their plans if necessary.
“We’ll continue to work closely with authorities and emergency services to ensure they are aware of the expected conditions.”
An Environment Agency spokesman added: “Environment Agency staff teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts and will continue to closely monitor the situation. “We are supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding.
“Seafronts, quaysides and jetties should be avoided due to the risk of overtopping by waves.”
Martin Hobbs from the Highways Agency said driving conditions would be difficult, particularly for motorcyclists, vehicles towing caravans and lorries.
“We are working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions ahead of the weather being forecast over the weekend,” he said. “If you do have to make a journey by road, be prepared, plan your journey in advance and check the latest weather conditions along your route.
“Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space.” The Met Office said the storm ‘isn’t a storm you would see every year’.