Major Storm to Hit the UK and Ireland Sunday

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
January 26, 2014; 4:10 AM
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Play video The above video details the weather across Europe

The very active weather pattern that has prevailed across the United Kingdom and Ireland this month will continue right into Sunday.

The weekend will conclude with a major storm capable of producing flooding rainfall and widespread damaging winds.

A rapidly strengthening low pressure system will reach Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland by Sunday morning before blasting across the rest of the United Kingdom by Sunday evening.

Ahead of and during the frontal passage, winds of 50-65 kph (30-40 mph) are expected with gusts over 95 kph (60 mph). Isolated wind gusts over 120 kph (75 mph) will be possible. These winds are expected during a six- to eight-hour time period which could lead to power outages and some structural damage.

The strongest wind gusts should be confined to the northwestern coast of Scotland and the northwestern portion of Ireland where 95-110 kph (60-70 mph) gusts will be common. Also higher elevations in Scotland could have wind gusts to over 110 kph.

Although a secondary threat, bursts of heavy rainfall can cause localized flooding, especially since most areas already have a saturated ground. Rainfall amounts will generally average 12-25 mm (0.50-1.00 inch).

As cold air blasts eastward behind the front, the rain can end as snow across northern Scotland in cities such as Inverness and Aberdeen. Some of the higher ground in Scotland could even see some minor accumulations, leading to slick travel.

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By Sunday night, the front will blast through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and western Germany.

Rainfall is not expected to be as heavy for these areas, but there can still be a few wind gusts near 65 kph (40 mph) during the frontal passage.

The area of low pressure will move southward across Ireland and the United Kingdom early next week leading to more unsettled weather with showers, gusty winds and snow in the higher terrain.

Story updated by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Alan Reppert

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