UK braced for severe storms and gales
Northern parts of the UK are bracing themselves for severe gales and storms as the remnants of Hurricane Katia race towards British shores.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of northern England could see trees brought down with gusts of up to 80mph expected to batter the region tomorrow, forecasters said.
The high winds will be accompanied by heavy rain and the Environment Agency said flood warnings may be issued in coastal areas.
A flood alert - which warns that flooding is possible - remains in place at Derwent Water, Cumbria, because water levels at the lake remain high, while a fresh alert was last night issued for the River Ely in Wales in anticipation of the storms
Billy Payne, forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "The deep low pressure system which has come from the remnants of Hurricane Katia will approach north west Scotland tonight with strong winds hitting during Monday.
"There will be rain and widespread gusts of between 50-70mph across Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and northern England while western parts of northern Scotland, which are most prone, could see gusts of up to 80mph.
"There is the potential for damage especially with trees and the winds will be strong enough to cause some structural problems."
The UK sees a storm of this strength around once per year, and the remnants of a hurricane reach Britain once every few years, MeteoGroup said.
The high winds and rain will start to ease off in the first half of next week.
"The low will pass away on Monday night and the winds should subside," Mr Payne said.
"Tuesday and Wednesday will still be windy for parts of the UK, but nowhere nearly as windy as Monday."
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for Monday, warning people in Northern Ireland, central and south west Scotland and the Highlands to be prepared.
The warning, classed as an amber alert, says: "The remains of Hurricane Katia are expected to come across the UK on Monday bringing a spell of very windy weather.
"There remains some uncertainty about its track and intensity, though with increasing indications that Scotland and Northern Ireland are most likely to bear the brunt.
"The public should be aware of the risk of disruption to transport and of the possibility of damage to trees and structures."
Katia is the second major hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season and was rated as a category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale at its peak.
The scale rates hurricanes from one to five, with five being the strongest.
People can register for free flood warnings for their area at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk or by calling 0845 988 1188 or 0845 602 6340.