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Storm Debi to hit UK within hours bringing heavy rain and gale-force winds

Storm Debi will hit the UK within hours, bringing heavy rain and severe gale-force winds.

Weather warnings have been issued for large parts of the UK, as the storm is forecast to sweep across Ireland before reaching northern England and parts of Wales on Monday, with the potential for 80mph gusts in some areas, according to the Met Office.

A yellow warning for wind, the lowest level of alert, will be in place from 4am until 6pm for areas including Bangor and St Davids in Wales and Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool in England, bringing a potential danger to life from flying debris.

Weather graphic
(PA Graphics)

A section of Northern Ireland including Newry will have an amber warning for wind, the second-highest level, from 6am to midday, and the rest of Northern Ireland will be covered by a yellow warning for wind and rain from 3am to 2pm.

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Aberdeenshire in Scotland will have a yellow warning for rain from 10am until 9pm.

Parts of north-east Scotland likely to see heavy rain were also battered by Storm Babet last month, including Brechin in Angus, where hundreds of homes had to be evacuated after the river South Esk breached its banks.

Jonathan Vautrey, meteorologist for the Met Office, urged people to “take care before you travel” as morning rush hour is expected to be affected.

He said: “There will be some heavy rainfall, potential for flying debris, potential for disruption to travel and infrastructure in places.”

Meanwhile, the Irish meteorological agency has extended the area of the country which will fall under its highest level of wind warning ahead of Storm Debi, which forecasters warned carries a “potential danger to life”.

Flooded street
Storm Babet caused severe flooding across the UK last month (PA)

While a yellow warning applies to every county in Ireland from midnight until 3pm on Monday, the majority of people are also living in areas where a red warning applies due to the risk of “severe and damaging gusts” from Sunday night.

It comes after parts of the island were devastated by floods during intense spells of rain from storms Babet and Ciaran.

A status red wind warning will apply to Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, east Galway, and south Roscommon between 2am and 5am.

As the storm tracks north east over the country, a separate status red warning will come into effect for Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Meath, Wicklow, Offaly, and Westmeath between 5am and 8am.

A status orange wind warning additionally applies to these counties as well as Longford, Cavan, Monaghan, Kilkenny and Carlow from 2am until 10am.

A separate orange wind warning has been announced for between 1am and 4am for Cork.

Ireland’s National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) advised schools and pre-schools in a number of counties to remain closed until 10am on Monday.

Jason Kelly, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “The strongest winds are expected to affect parts of the Republic of Ireland early on Monday, possibly coinciding with the morning commute, before then affecting parts of north Wales and northern England into the afternoon.

“Whilst the very strongest winds will have eased somewhat before reaching the UK, we are still expecting some significant impacts and a wind warning has been issued.

“Additionally, Debi will bring a period of heavy rain to Northern Ireland for which a combined wind and rain warning has been issued.”

Simon Partridge, a spokesman for the Met Office, added: “For parts of north-west Wales and England, there is a possibility of 70 to 80mph winds.

“It will be a wet and blustery day for all.”