Storm Gareth could bring 60mph winds - Everything we know so far
PUBLISHED: 13:54 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 March 2019
High winds of up to 60mph and “intense rain” are set to hit, as Storm Gareth batters the region - with the Orwell Bridge being closely monitored.
The Met Office has issued a yellow wind warning running from Tuesday to Wednesday.
It has warned on its website of strong west to northwesterly winds from Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday, with possible transport disruption.
It also says that some power cuts are possible, and it is likely that some coastal routes and communities will be affected by spray and large waves.
Weatherquest forecaster Adam Dury said: “There will be intense rain from early afternoon on Tuesday. Wind speeds will ease, so there will be light winds, but then they will increase overnight and in the morning there will be gusts of 40 to 45mph.”
He added that as the wind got up there could be gusts of between 50 and 55mph and even 60mph, before the winds start to ease down during the late afternoon.
Temperatures were also expected to fall this afternoon, after a squally cold front finishes passing over the evening.
Highways England said on Twitter on Tuesday: “There are no plans to close the Orwell Bridge today, but we do have precautionary measures in place if the weather worsens.”
There are currently signs before the bridge warning of high winds. One driver said: “Conditions are awful on there. The rain with the wind is making it impossible to see.”
Ipswich Borough Council is warning that bin collections in the town on Wednesday could be badly affected if the Orwell Bridge closes, causing congestion.
Suffolk Highways has asked road users to contact them on 0345 606 6171 to alert them to any trees that have fallen or are threatening the highway. They said via Twitter: “Please take extra care on your journeys and allow for delays.”
On its website, the Met Office says delays are likely for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges.
It is suggesting that drivers should avoid starting their journeys until heavy rain clears. It also warns that roads will be slippery, and that people should use dipped headlights if visibility is seriously reduced.
The Met Office also warns that gusts of wind can unsettle vehicles, so drivers should grip their steering wheel firmly with both hands. This is particularly important when planning to overtake.
The Met Office has warned that some train and bus services are likely to be affected, with some journeys taking longer.
No rail delays or cancellations in Suffolk and north Essex as a result of Storm Gareth have been announced as yet.
A decision is due to be taken early on Wednesday about whether to close parks in Ipswich. The borough council is asking people to avoid wooded areas adn to take care in open spaces.
Storm Gareth is the third named storm of the UK and is expected to last until Friday. Over the weekend the high winds wrought havoc across the region, with gusts of over 60mph recorded in some areas.
On Sunday there were gusts of 51mph at Wattisham in Suffolk and 62mph at Shoeburyness in Essex.