Britain braced for more weather misery as Brian moves in
The hazardous conditions come days after Storm Ophelia wrought havoc in Ireland.
The UK is braced for a night of heavy rain and winds before Storm Brian batters the country this weekend.
Gusts of between 50mph (80kph) and 70mph (113kph) are expected to coincide with high tides across the south of England on Saturday, with the potential to cause treacherous waves in coastal areas.
The second named storm of the season, caused by a “weather bomb” of low pressure in the Atlantic Ocean, may also cause flooding along the coast, The Met Office said.
The weather service has now extended its yellow warning for wind to the whole of the southern and western coast of England from 4am on Saturday, with south-westerly areas thought to be among the worst affected.
The hazardous conditions come days after Storm Ophelia wrought havoc in Ireland on Monday, killing three people when the ex-tropical storm toppled trees and caused widespread damage which left thousands of homes without power.
The Irish meteorological office, Met Eireann, has issued an orange warning for wind across the south of the country from 6am on Saturday.
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said the risk of strong winds in England has now also extended further north than first thought.
He said: “The rain and strong winds have edged a little further northwards.
“Gusts of 50-60mph inland seem fairly plausible, and around exposed coastal areas we can expect to see winds of between 60-70mph.
“The worst risk areas are along the south coast and the west coast, but even heading as far north as north-west England, such as the west coast of Cumbria and Lancashire, which are now in the yellow warning area.
Northern Ireland, which is also tipped for heavy winds throughout the storm, is also facing the prospect of heavy rain on Thursday evening as a band of low pressure sweeps across the UK.
Mr Burkill said: “The worst of the rain and winds (on Thursday) are going to be across Northern Ireland.
“For other areas it will be wet, but we will start to see it clear away overnight
“Elsewhere tonight it’s going to be quite windy toward the south west and across parts of Wales, with some gales, but the winds will ease as we go through the night.
“There will be cloud around and rain, not especially heavy and probably easing throughout the night.”
Earlier on Thursday, Met Office Spokesman Grahame Madge said “dramatic waves” could also pose a threat to life as Storm Brian moves in on Saturday, and warned against anyone tempted to pose for “storm selfies” along the coast.