More than 80,000 homes are without power as killer Storm Arwen batters UK

More than 80,000 homes are without power as killer Storm Arwen batters UK
More than 80,000 homes are without power as killer Storm Arwen batters UK

More than 80,000 homes in the UK have been left without electricity after the country was battered by Storm Arwen last night.

Ferocious gales of nearly 100mph were recorded in Northumberland yesterday and one man in Northern Ireland was killed when his car was struck by a falling tree.

While the Met Office's rare red weather warning expired early today, the forecaster said that amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place, with the expectation of gusts of 70mph in many areas today and flooding along the North East coastline.

Police urged people to travel only if absolutely necessary today after roads were closed by fallen debris in the worst-hit parts of Scotland. 

Coastguards even begged Storm Arwen sightseers this morning to stay away from the sea today and tomorrow, warning: 'No selfie is worth killing yourself for'.

LNER train services north of Newcastle were ground to a halt by high winds, heavy rain and snowfall, while ScotRail services were disrupted between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street, Dunblane and Stirling after a barn was blown onto the line close to Polmont, near Falkirk.  

The Met Office warned the north-east of England, north-west of England, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the East Midlands will experience cold weather until Monday. Amber weather warnings remain in place until around 9am on Saturday for the north-east coasts of England and Scotland, and the south-west coasts of England and Wales, while the yellow warning covers most of the UK until 6pm.

Friday night's rugby union Premiership game between Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors was postponed until tonight due to safety concerns.

And in North Wales, ITV was forced to pre-record Friday night's live episode of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! amid concerns that poor weather would interfere with the broadcast around Gwrych Castle. 

A lorry blown over in high winds blocks the A179 near Hartlepool, County Durham

A lorry blown over in high winds blocks the A179 near Hartlepool, County Durham

A fallen tree blocks a road in the centre of Norton village in Teeside after gusts of almost 100mph

A fallen tree blocks a road in the centre of Norton village in Teeside after gusts of almost 100mph

A cyclist braves the snow in Sheffield this morning as Storm Arwen batters the north of England

A cyclist braves the snow in Sheffield this morning as Storm Arwen batters the north of England

Fallen masonry from a property, which has damaged a nearby car, on Gloucester Avenue in Roker, Sunderland

Fallen masonry from a property, which has damaged a nearby car, on Gloucester Avenue in Roker, Sunderland

Storm Arwen has claimed her first victim after a driver died when a falling tree landed on his car while he was driving with his wife and two children in Antrim, Northern Ireland, on Friday evening

Storm Arwen has claimed her first victim after a driver died when a falling tree landed on his car while he was driving with his wife and two children in Antrim, Northern Ireland, on Friday evening

The Met Office warned the north-east of England, north-west of England, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the East Midlands will experience cold weather until Monday

The Met Office warned the north-east of England, north-west of England, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the East Midlands will experience cold weather until Monday

While the Met Office's rare red weather warning expired early today, the forecaster warned that amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place

While the Met Office's rare red weather warning expired early today, the forecaster warned that amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place

While the Met Office's rare red weather warning expired early today, the forecaster warned that amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place

The Met Office is expecting gusts of 70mph in many areas today and flooding along the North East coastline

The Met Office is expecting gusts of 70mph in many areas today and flooding along the North East coastline

The Met Office is expecting gusts of 70mph in many areas today and flooding along the North East coastline

A fallen tree blocks a road in the centre of Norton village in Teeside after gusts of almost 100mph

A fallen tree blocks a road in the centre of Norton village in Teeside after gusts of almost 100mph

heavy snow shower passes over Saltburn By The Sea as Storm Arwen sweeps across the country

heavy snow shower passes over Saltburn By The Sea as Storm Arwen sweeps across the country

Despite the bitter weather, revellers were seen heading into Leeds city centre for a night of partying

Despite the bitter weather, revellers were seen heading into Leeds city centre for a night of partying

Despite the bitter weather, revellers were seen heading into Leeds city centre for a night of partying

How rare is a Met Office red weather warning - and what does it mean? 

The Met Office today issued a red weather warning for wind in Scotland. 

The last time a red wind warning was activated in the UK was for South West England in March 2018.

Today's alert is the 11th red warning issued by the Met Office since its three-tier system came into use in 2011. 

It also includes yellow warnings for 'be aware' and amber for 'be prepared'. 

The Met Office definition of a red alert is to 'take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the weather. Widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely'. 

The 11 red warnings issued by the Met Office since the system began seven years ago are as follows:

December 8, 2011: Wind in central and southern Scotland January 3, 2012: Wind in central Scotland July 7, 2012: Rain in Devon and Cornwall January 18, 2013: Snow in South Wales February 12, 2014: Wind in Wales and northern England December 5, 2015: Rain in Cumbria and the Borders (Storm Desmond) December 26, 2016: Rain in Lancashire and Yorkshire January 29, 2016: Wind in Orkney and Shetland February 28, 2018: Snow in central Scotland March 1, 2018: Wind and snow in South West England November 26, 2021: Wind in Northeast England and Scotland (Storm Arwen) 

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Wind speeds reached 87mph in Orlock Head, County Down. Inverbervie on the north-east coast of Scotland saw gusts of 78mph, while Aberporth in Wales saw speeds of 77mph.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said it had been dealing with a 'large' number of incidents late on Friday 'caused by the current weather conditions including many fallen trees and roofs being blown off structures'.  

The Met Office described the conditions as 'horrendous' and people also reported power cuts. Northern Powergrid said severe gales had caused power cuts for more than 55,000 customers, mainly in the Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear areas. 

Footage showed howling winds whipping up the North Sea in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, and snowfall elsewhere, including in Redcar, Yorkshire, and Whitley Bay, Northumberland.

North West Motorway Police said around 120 lorries were 'stuck in the snow' on the M62 at junctions 21 and 22 and urged motorists to avoid the area. Tweeting pictures of the motorway blanketed in white, they said snow ploughs had been deployed.

A Met Office statement said: 'People should

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