BRITAIN has been warned to batten down the hatches for another named storm within days with more rain, gales and heavy snow forecast.
The UK is braced for more unsettled weather in the coming days after Storm Gareth brought the worst period of weather since the “Beast from the East” last February.
Low pressure following in Gareth’s wake is today battering the UK with more strong winds and downpours, triggering weather warnings for travel delays, power cuts and flooding.
It comes amid a weather warning for Cheltenham Festival’s third day.
A yellow warning for rain in Lancashire, north-west England, will remain in place until 3pm today while a warning for wind across England will be lifted at 1pm.
Britain is by no means out of the woods yet, however, as more severe weather is forecast to ravage the country on Friday and Saturday.
Latest weather models indicate another large low pressure system currently churning through the Atlantic Ocean will barrell over Britain from Friday night.
A Met Office forecaster said the low pressure could progress into a named storm by Saturday if the threshold for wind and rain warnings are reached.
The next storm will be named Hannah by the Met Office, just days after Gareth ripped through Ireland and the UK with torrential rain and 80mph winds.
BBC forecaster Susan Powell said the potential named storm could unleash heavy snow across parts on Scotland on Saturday.
“Scattered snow showers on Friday”
BBC forecaster Susan Powell
The forecaster said: “Scattered snow showers on Friday – however, we do have another low that’s set to develop.
“That looks like it could be even deeper once again for Saturday: this could be our next named storm.
“If it is deep enough it will be named Hannah and it will bring widespread gales and heavy rain but potentially also some disruptive snow across the northern half of the UK.”
In the meantime, powerful winds will buffet the UK from Thursday night into Friday, risking travel disruption widely, the Met Office said.
Westerly winds will become strong and gusty early on Friday morning, easing again later in the day, according to the forecaster.
Gusts of 50-55mph are likely fairly widely with isolated gusts of 60-65mph possible, it is forecast.
Powell added: “Through this evening and overnight, we are going to see rain pushing into the north and west and sinking its way southeastwards.
“The winds remain strong, again, inland gusts at 40 to 45mph.”
Gusts of up to 75mph were recorded in Scotland on Tuesday night, while winds of more than 60mph were felt widely across western parts of the UK in the early hours of Wednesday.
Three climbers died following an avalanche on Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain, with a fourth taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The group were caught by a river of snow and ice in a gully as Gareth blew in with strong winds on Tuesday morning, triggering a huge search and recovery operation in “brutal conditions”, a rescuer said.
Queues of lorries around seven miles long formed along a section of a major motorway in Kent waiting for space on ferries and Eurotunnel crossings after severe weather.
The storm, caused by a deep area of low pressure, was named by Met Eireann, the Irish weather service, and is the third named storm this year after Storm Erik in February and Freya earlier this month.