UK weather warning as tornado rips up trees after Met Office alert

BBC Weather: Rain warning for UK with thundery downpour

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A mini tornado has ripped through Wales after the Met Office warned winds of up to 65mph would batter the country. The yellow weather warning, which is in place for south western parts of the UK as well, began at 9am and is not due to expire until 7pm. But earlier this morning the leading forecaster issued a separate wind warning which takes over at 7pm until midnight. It says: “A further spell of squally south to southwesterly winds is expected this evening, with strongest gusts likely to occur near heavy showers and thunderstorms. Winds are likely to gust to 55-65 mph at times, especially around coasts which may lead to some disruption and large waves.”

People should expect to delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport, and high sided vehicles may be halted from crossing exposed routes such as bridges. There is also set to be some short term loss of power.

Some coastal routes, sea fronts and those living near the sea may be affected by spray or large waves. Despite the heads up over conditions continuing well into the night, there has already been some issues reported.

This morning’s mini tornado has ripped up a row of trees closing part of the A470 between Builth Wells and Erwood and will not reopen before Thursday afternoon, Powys County Council said. Locals reported seeing the tornado take down the row of trees on the road, and now traffic from Builth Wells to Llyswen will be affected.

Powys County Council said in a statement: “The A470 is currently closed between Builth Wells and Erwood, after a mini tornado brought down several trees. The road is not expected to reopen before tomorrow afternoon.”

There was a similar incident at the A4066 in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, on Wednesday afternoon as strong winds and heavy rain swept across the region followed by hail and thunderstorms.

The National Grid has also reported there are nearly 1,000 homes without power. A total of 962 customers are without electricity across south, west and mid Wales, with a total of 14 separate incidents being dealt with. 

A power cut in the Newport area of Pembrokeshire has also left 233 customers without electricity. Then, another incident near Pendine, Carmarthenshire, has left 64 properties without power.

The thought of a tornado hitting the UK seems rare, but in fact, the Met Office says around 30 reach the country on a yearly basis. They are typically small and short lived, but can cause structural damage if they pass over built-up areas.

Amid the disruption The Severn Bridge is also closed in both directions. At around 11.30am National Highways made the announcement and said: “The #M48 #SevernBridge is now closed in both directions due to high winds.”

It is now encouraging people to take a diversion along the Prince of Wales Bridge, via the M4. Due to the influx of rain, there are also several flood alerts and warnings active across the Welsh coast.

The Tidal area at Dale is one of the areas affected. The authority, Natural Resources Wales says: “Property along the sea front including the Griffin Inn, community hall, South Street and the B4327 road are affected.

A holiday park is also on alert, with the authority placing the tidal area at Carmarthen Bay Holiday Park, Kidwelly, at risk of flooding. It says static and mobile caravans are at risk. “The winds are forecast to be force 7-8 from a south westerly direction,” the warning says.

“Offshore waves are expected to be moderate. Be careful on beaches and promenades. Be careful as sea spray and waves could be dangerous [and could contain debris].”

Property along Victoria Terrace, Marine Terrace and South Marine Terrace at Aberystwyth seafront are also at risk of floods, with the authority adding: “In particular the road along the sea frontage and cellars of properties bordering the road.”

There are a total of 10 flood alerts and three flood warnings – with many people urged to be prepared for more adverse weather later this evening.

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