SNOW, floods and 90mph are set to batter Britain today as Storm Freya strikes – forcing the Met Office to issue a “danger to life” weather warning.
Roads have closed and hundreds of homes have been left without power since the storm swept in off the Atlantic yesterday afternoon.
The storm continued to wreak havoc throughout the day; tearing down trees and causing two car crashes and burst riverbanks.
Forecasters have issued a yellow weather warning and have urged people to take care today as the fearsome storm gains momentum.
Snow could hit the North East and Scotland, while experts have predicted possible blizzards in the Peak District.
There were flood warnings in place at Lyme Regis and West Bay in Dorset, with three lesser flood alerts in Dorset and one in Porlock Weir, Somerset.
The severe weather warnings were in place in Northern, Central and South West England and Wales from 3pm Sunday to 6am on Monday.
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The Met Office said: “Spells of snow will affect some areas of higher ground above 200 to 300 metres during Sunday evening and night before clearing by dawn.
“Some areas at lower levels may see some sleet or wet snow at times, but settling of snow will tend to be restricted to areas above 200 to 300 metres. Some icy patches may also develop later in the night.”
The Met Office said the storm could risk injuries and danger to life from flying debris and large waves.
It has warned to be aware of potential hazards including tiles being blown from roofs, fallen branches, and beach material being thrown on to sea fronts and coastal roads.
Highways England has urged motorists to check forecasts before driving.
Sophie Yeomans, Met Office forecaster, said: “Tonight we’ve got Storm Freya moving through and that means we’re going to be seeing strong winds and some heavy rainfall.
“We’ve got a yellow weather warning out for this – if you’re in that area we could see 55mph, perhaps even 65mph quite widely. And in some locations even up to 80mph. So do take care if you’re out and about.
“Early in the evening there’s heavy rain across parts of northern England and South Eastern Counties of northern Ireland.
“The strongest winds though are likely to be across South West England and Wales as well. This is where we’re going to see gusts of up to 80mph.
“As we head through the evening, temperatures will drop and we might even see some snow on the hilltops in northern England, but it’s not likely to cause any disruption.
“Storm Freya will move out into the North Sea as we head into the early hours, bringing the strongest gusts down to the eastern coastlines so do take care on the Monday morning commute if you’re in these areas.
“Overnight, clear spells mean that temperatures will drop to maybe only 2C or 3C which means that we might get a frost in some spots.
“Monday morning though a wet and grey start across southern England in that rain, but through the day we’ll see the sunshine start to come out – clear blue skies and sunshine, especially in central and eastern areas.
“It’s only in western areas that we’ll see blustery showers starting to push through, and it will feel cold in the showers with highs of only 10C or 11C.”
The 500-mile-wide storm system came barrelling towards Cornwall at approximately 3pm on Sunday afternoon after it swept in off the Atlantic.
A gust of 87mph was recorded at Seven Stones in Cornwall.
A section of the M4 at the Briton Ferry Bridge in Wales was flooded in both directions and it’ll remain closed overnight.
70mph winds hit South Uist in Scotland and in Land’s End in Cornwall.
Two crashes were reported on the M4 and officials had to shut down a five-mile stretch of the A465 due to a burst river bank at Hirwaun, South Wales.
Snow and sleet hit the N7 in Dublin and caused travel chaos.
Snow continued to fall across parts of northern England and Scotland on Sunday night, with 6cm reported in Cumbria.
The Met Office’s yellow warning reads: “Storm Freya will bring very strong winds, with some travel disruption and possible dangerous conditions late Sunday and into Monday.
“Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible. Some damage to buildings and trees such as tiles blown from roofs and fallen branches could happen.
“Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible. Some roads and bridges may close.
“Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.
“Injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea.”